A rebound in mining stocks helped the Aussie market extend its winning streak to a third straight day, with the ASX 200 finishing around session highs, up 29pts or 0.44 per cent to 6650.6. Nine sectors and 132 stocks finished higher. The Materials sector snapped three straight days of losses after climbing 1.56 per cent, but this was slightly offset by a 0.8 per cent fall in the Financial sector – its worst day in roughly two weeks.

In the US overnight, the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 1.3 per cent – the biggest lift in 17 years – in June, to be up 9.1 per cent over the year (survey: 8.8 per cent) – the highest annual rate since November 1981. This caused US markets to retreat after the unexpectedly high inflation data fuelled fears of a larger-thananticipated interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.

In economic news locally, employment rose by 88,400 in June (consensus: +30,000) with full-time jobs up by 52,900 and part-time jobs lifting by 35,500. The unemployment rate fell from 3.9 per cent in May to 3.5 per cent in June (lowest since August 1974). Employment lifted for an eighth consecutive month following the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in late 2021.

In company news, shares of Pilbara Minerals (PLS) climbed 3.8 per cent after it said that a cargo of 5,000dmt was presented for sale on the digital Battery Metal Exchange platform, with delivery expected from late August 2022. PLS says that it ‘intends to accept the highest bid’ (of 41 bids) of US$6,188/dmt.

Lake Resources (LKE) was down by as much as 19.3 per cent in early trade, but finished 10.4 per cent lower, after it exited a trading halt and responded to a short-seller report. LKE said that the shortseller report – from J Capital – put forth ‘incorrect information on technical matters and inaccurate assertions on LKE’s progress-todate with its technology partner, Lilac Solutions’.

Bega Cheese (BGA) had its worst day since December 2021, sliding by 8.45 per cent. BGA acknowledged ‘ongoing cost pressures’ due to ‘robust competition amongst dairy processors’. BGA said that some of its business disruptions are ‘resolving’, after passing through ‘increased business costs it experienced in FY22’. BGA was the second worst performer on the ASX 200.

3bn shares were traded, worth $7.4bn. 774 stocks rose, 544 fell & 372 finished unchanged.

In the US, producer prices data is issued. US banks JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley kick off the quarterly earnings season tonight.

Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec