The Australian sharemarket snapped a four-day winning streak, with the ASX 200 slipping by 20.3 pts or 0.3 per cent to 7131. Investors grew cautious ahead of a key speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell tonight at 1am AEDT and a highly anticipated monthly update on US CPI (consumer inflation) due Thursday. Both could be
considerations in the market’s expectations for upcoming US rate hikes on 1 February. The Federal Reserve raised rates by a significant 425 basis points in 2022 in an effort to rein in surging inflation.

Most sectors finished lower on Tuesday locally. While mining stocks have easily been the month’s best performers so far, the majors came under some selling pressure today. Gold miners including Newcrest (NCM) and Northern Star (NST) lost ground, while lithium producer Pilbara Minerals (PLS) slid 1.5 per cent.

Lake Resources (LKE) was an exception, lifting strongly for most of the day but closed 1.2 per cent higher, after
confirming progress made at a lithium project it is developing with a partner in Argentina.

Australia’s largest listed company, BHP Group (BHP) was sluggish on Tuesday while remaining within striking distance of its 2021 record high.

Premier Investment (PMV) fell by 5.1 per cent after trading ex-dividend. The retailer behind Peter Alexander and
Smiggle will pay its largest dividend on record to eligible investors on 25 January. The 79c in payments includes a
special dividend.


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Fortescue Metals (FMG) edged higher by 0.7 per cent a day after the resignation of its Chief Financial Officer.

2.8 bn shares were traded worth $6 bn. 584 stocks rose, 719 fell and 421 finished unchanged.

Looking forward, an update on November retail trade, job vacancies and monthly inflation data are all due in Australia tomorrow.

Originally published by Steven Daghlian – Market Analyst (Author), CommSec