ASX 200 closes up 16 points to 7050 (+0.2%) reversing earlier losses, as the market digested softer (better) than expected CPI data. Resources performed well, both RIO and BHP up 0.7% and 1.4%. Lithium stocks mixed, CXO slipped down 4.78%, but PLS and AKE held onto yesterday’s gains up 2.3% and 3.5%. Gold steadies as global banking fears remain, NCM up 0.9% and NST up 2% recovering some of yesterday’s losses. Banks had an off day; The Big Bank Basket fell to $167.41 (-0.3%) with NAB taking the biggest hit down 2.2%. Insurers healthy, QBE up 0.3%, and MPL finding some support up 0.3%. Tech mixed, the All-Tech Index up 0.1%, CPU off 0.7% and WTC down 0.7%. Industrials doing OK. WOW up 0.6% and WES up 0.9%. Healthcare eased, CSL fell 0.5% and RMD down 1.3%. On the corporate front, ASIC investigates the ASX over whether its directors and officers breached their legal obligations during the bungled CHESS replacement project. Bendigo bank (BEN) sinks 3.1% nearing five-month lows after UBS cut its ratings and price targets on the Australian Banking Sector generally. Inflation fell to 6.8% in February, below consensus of 7.1% marking the second straight monthly decline from the peak of 8.4% in December. The RBA flagged CPI, retail sales, business survey and employment data as key inputs to April's policy decision. The market remains divided on policy outcome next week as jobs data came in hotter-than-expected but other indicators have shown moderation. UBS Group announces Sergio Ermotti as its next CEO, replacing Ralph Hamers from April 5th, he will be returning to the bank where he was CEO from 2011 to 2020 after its takeover of Credit Suisse. Asia, Japan rose 0.9%, HK up 1.9% and China flat. 10-year yields at 3.3%. Dow Jones futures up 132 points. NASDAQ futures up 58 points.
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