• ASX SPI futures indicate a flat start to the last day of the year, down 7 points or 0.1 per cent after the Dow Jones retreated from its all-time highs.
  • Today’s Announcements: Lynas Rare Earths (LYC) receives regulatory approval |

Aussie shares set to start on a flat note after the Dow Jones eases from its all-time highs. 

  • A flat start to trade is expected with the ASX SPI futures pointing down by 7 points or 0.1 per cent. In the US, there was optimism gained from economic data, namely a fall in unemployment insurance claims. However this was offset by the selling pressure induced by investors looking to square positions at the end of the month, quarter and year. The US Dow Jones index closed down 91 points or 0.3 per cent from the record high it set in the prior session. The S&P 500 index lost 14 points or 0.3 per cent. And the Nasdaq index lost 24 points or 0.2 per cent.
  • In commodities markets, the Brent crude oil price gained US9 cents or 0.1 per cent to US$79.32 a barrel and the US Nymex crude price added US43 cents or 0.6 per cent to US$76.99 a barrel. There was upward pressure on oil prices, from news of countries reducing the quarantine period required for Omicron. But this influence was suppressed by a Reuters report that showed that China lowered the first batch of 2022 import quotas. Nonetheless, the increase in oil price may support Aussie-listed energy companies such as Woodside Petroleum (WPL) and Santos (STO).
  • Bullion gained ground, with the gold futures price adding US$8.30 or 0.5 per cent to US$1,814.10 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,815 an ounce at the US close. The rise in the gold price could support shares of Aussie gold miners..
  • Iron ore fell by US80 cents or 0.7 per cent to US$117.25 a tonne overnight. London-listed iron ore miners diverged, with shares in Rio Tinto up 1.1 per cent while shares in BHP slipped by 0.2 per cent.

Lynas Rare Earths (LYC) receives regulatory approval for its disposal facility. 

  • Lynas Rare Earths (LYC) has informed the market that its proposed Malaysian permanent disposal facility in the Gebeng Industrial Estate has received environmental approval from Malaysian regulatory authorities. The disposal facility is used for water leach purification residue, which contains high levels of phosphate and is used commonly in fertilisers. Lynas believes the residue can be used to reduce Malaysia’s palm oil industry reliance on imported phosphate fertilisers.

Originally published by Divik Nigam, Associate Equity Market Analyst and Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec