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Monthly winning streak ends for ASX

·4-min read

Investors' 11-month winning streak on the ASX is over as US inflation concerns, a debt ceiling row and a slowing Chinese economy weigh on confidence.

The market bounced back on Thursday from two consecutive days of losses, but the gains were not enough to change the monthly result.

The ASX200 shed 2.69 per cent for September as iron ore prices plunged and the US Federal Reserve flagged it was closer to easing pandemic stimulus.

Overnight, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde said they were monitoring inflation after a surge in energy prices and production bottlenecks.

Supply problems continue plaguing economies reopening from the most difficult times of the pandemic.

China has had electricity shortages which on Thursday showed in reduced factory activity statistics for September.

Meanwhile the US is in danger of a government shutdown if politicians cannot agree on raising the debt limit.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the nation would be facing a financial crisis and recession if the limit is not raised by October 18.

In Australia, lending figures for August will be published on Friday after rampant demand for mortgages. Economists expect a modest fall of around two per cent.

In the most recent trading session, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 135.5 points, or 1.88 per cent, to 7332.2.

The All Ordinaries closed up 129.5 points, or 1.73 per cent, to 7629.7.

All share categories were higher and consumer staples was best. Woolworths improved by 2.8 per cent to $39.35.

Fortescue Metals closed its Solomon Hub iron ore mine in Western Australia after a worker was killed.

The man died after ground collapsed at the site in the Pilbara region on Thursday morning.

Police and company officials are investigating.

Shares improved by 1.08 per cent to $14.96.

Major rivals BHP and Rio Tinto fared much better and gained more than three per cent.

Miner South32 increased its stake in aluminium smelter Mozal Aluminium by 25 per cent.

South32 will pay $US250 million ($A347 million) to MCA Metals Holding and raise its ownership of the Mozambique smelter to 72.1 per cent.

Shares were up 4.13 per cent to $3.53.

Among the banks, Westpac proved best and gained 3.3 per cent to $26.00. ANZ and NAB were better by more than two per cent. The Commonwealth edged up one per cent.

Explosives provider Orica shot up by more than 15 per cent a day after giving details for its full-year earnings.

Analysts have been examining the $370 million in major items which will weigh on earnings.

Shares rose to $13.79.

Buy now, pay later provider Zip will have its service offered to people shopping using Microsoft's Edge browser.

US users will be first to see the service in Edge, which could be available as early as November.

Zip shares were up 1.29 per cent to $7.06.

Medical imaging provider Integral Diagnostics is buying The X-Ray Group for $37.5 million in cash and shares.

The X-Ray Group is in Albury and Wodonga on the NSW-Victorian border and has a forecast full-year earnings contribution of up to $5.5 million.

Integral shares were up 4.02 per cent to $4.92.

Miner Core Lithium confirmed it has the funding needed to go ahead with the $89 million Finnis project near Darwin.

The company will be digging lithium-bearing ore used to make batteries, mobile phones, solar panels and more.

The first lithium concentrate is due to be produced before the end of next year.

Shares climbed almost nine per cent to 42 cents.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.07 US cents at 1724 AEST, lower from 72.55 US cents at Wednesday's close.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 135.5 points, or 1.88 per cent, to 7332.2 on Thursday.

* The All Ordinaries closed up 129.5 points, or 1.73 per cent, to 7629.7.

* At 1724 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was down eight points, or 0.11 per cent, at 7285 points.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 72.07 US cents, from 72.55 cents on Wednesday

* 80.72 Japanese yen, from 80.67 yen

* 62.15 Euro cents, from 62.09 cents

* 53.65 British pence, from 53.59 pence

* 104.70 NZ cents, from 104.37 cents.

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