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Interest rates have been kept on hold at 4.35 per cent until February.

As widely predicted, the RBA has provided a pre-Christmas reprieve for those with borrowings, after better-than-expected inflation data last week.

After the news, the ASX200 rallied slightly but still ended the day down about .9 per cent.

Utilities and healthcare sectors were the strongest today.

In the green

Utility Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) gained well over two per cent today in the aftermath of shareholders rejecting the Brookfield-led North American consortium’s takeover bid.

Trade closed at $8.03.

Cloud communications company Whispir (ASX:WSP) was up 11 per cent on news it’s received a better offer from Zipline Cloud (Pendula) which has made a non-binding acquisition proposal.

Soprano Design Technology had already set out to acquire Whispir – but its 48-cent per share offer has been exceeded by Zipline’s offer.

The Whispir Board is considering the terms of the offer.

WSP closed at 54.5 cents.

Counter drone defence company DroneShield (ASX:DRO) gained 1.5 per cent after providing its presentation to the Canaccord Genuity Defence Conference.

DRO said it had $68.8 million in cash receipts calendar year-to-date, 4.4 times higher than the entire FY22.

DroneShield’s technology is being used in both the Ukraine and Israel-Hamas conflicts.

DRO closed trade at 32 cents.

And gold explorer, Barton Gold Holdings (ASX:BGD) traded flat despite launching reverse circulation (RC) drilling inside the Perseverance open pit mine at its Tarcoola gold project in South Australia.

Barton is planning to test the pit floor for mineralisation by completing 1500 metres of drilling across 20 holes. The work follows recent detailed 3D modelling.

The company hopes to convert extensions of the pit to JORC mineral resource in the first half of next year, as Barton looks to move from an explorer to a gold producer.

BGD shares closed flat at 25 cents.

In the red

Gold producer Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) was down nearly 8.5 per cent – with multiple factors in the mix today.

Investors have been selling off the company’s shares due to a 5.5 per cent drop in the gold price overnight, after an time spike.

The drop in Capricorn’s price could also be linked to Capricorn Metals’ executive chair Mark Clark selling $23 million of his shares in the company, and non-executive director Mark Okeby selling down $9.2 million of his.

CMM closed at $4.45.

Family safety and security technology firm Life 360 (ASX:360) lost 2.5 per cent likely also due to management selling down their shareholdings.

Life360’s co-founder and CEO Chris Hulls sold A$6 million worth of shares saying he planned to diversify his holdings over the next five years in-line with US market norms.

360 closed trade at $7.58.

And Inflammatory medicine developer Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) was down more than 22 percent after completing a $55 million Institutional Placement with shares priced at 30 cents, to fund its 2024 objectives.

It will now seek to raise a further $42 million through a Retail Entitlement Offer at the same 30-cent issue price.

And so MSB tumbled down in line with that raised share value – ending the day at 31.5 cents.

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