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The RBA has just announced its decision to keep the cash rate on hold at 4.35 per cent.

It’s a pre-Christmas reprieve for those with borrowings and the RBA’s next interest rates decision won’t be until the first Tuesday in February.

The ASX200 traded down about 1.1 per cent in the nervousness leading up to the RBA’s call and off the back of US markets overnight. All sectors have been in the red except for utilities which has been up about 0.8 of a per cent and healthcare, which has added about a third of a per cent. Consumer discretionary took a 1.8 per cent hit.

To business news, Virgin Australia cabin crew may disrupt holiday travel plans, threatening to strike during the busy Christmas period over working conditions. 98 per cent of Flight Attendants Association crew members voted in favour of the 24-hour work stoppages. Union representatives vow the strike action, which could ground planes, would be a ‘last resort’.

Meanwhile, rare earth explorer, Mount Ridley Mines (ASX:MRD) has unearthed two new rare earth prospects – dubbed Lance and Jimmie – 12 kilometres east of its prized Mia prospect in Western Australia.

The wide high-grade shallow results from 36 air core holes, included 15 metres at 2919 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxides (TREO) from 18 metres.

These findings come on the heels of a 155-hole infill drilling program at Mia, designed to solidify the presence of high-grade clay-hosted rare earth mineralisation.

MRD has been trading up at 0.2 of a cent.

AI digital human developer, Unith (ASX:UNT) has its plans to launch its first-ever self-service digital avatar platform in 2024, for companies interested in its automated assistance artificial intelligence (AI).

Unith has now upgraded the appearance of its AI-powered digital humans and has updated its library of available digital human heads.

The company has been trading at around 2 cents.

Raiden Resources (ASX:RDN) has announced results of soil sampling, defining multiple lithium trends at Mt Sholl and raising hopes that the company has a mineralised lithium system.

 The project lies inland from Karratha and lies along strike from GreenTech Metals (ASX:GRE) Osbourne JV pegmatite discovery.

Follow-up work will begin in the new year.

Raiden has been trading at 3.6 cents.

Gold explorer, Barton Gold Holdings (ASX:BGD) has begun 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 have been trading at 25 cents.

And Lithium Universe (ASX:LU7) has announced its opening an office in Montreal in Quebec, Canada. The office will allow it to streamline operations with key stakeholders, including engineering partners HATCH and Primero Group as it develops its Quebec lithium Processing Hub strategy.

Lithium Universe has been trading at 3.1 cents.

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