Tech leads, Energy sags: ASX up 0.6% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket has been in positive territory this morning, trading 0.6 per cent or 42.80 points higher at 7304.60. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 35 points.

Information Technology has been the best-performing sector, trading 2.7 per cent higher, while Energy is down 2.2 per cent. At noon, all sectors were in the green except Energy and Utilities. 

Challenger (ASX:CGF) is up 10.3 per cent as the best-performing stock. Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) is down 5.2 per cent as the worst-performing stock.

Amid tech’s strong performance, global payment provider Splitit (ASX:SPT) is up near 0.8 per cent higher following news that it will launch Splitit In-Store to new merchants with the integration of Apple and Google Pay. 

Australia’s largest oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) made headlines this morning, down 2.1 per cent following the completed acquisition of FAR Senegal interest in the Sangomar project. BetMakers (ASX:BET) also got a mention, up 1.4 per cent following news it will live-stream British and Irish horseracing into Australia.

NSW has recorded 27 new COVID-19 cases and has extended its lockdown for another week. Queensland has recorded one new locally acquired COVID-19 case, while Victoria is planning to ease restrictions on Friday. 

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released their ‘Participation, Job search and Mobility, Australia’ announcement for February. 2.2 million people who were not working wanted to work, 7 million people not working were available to start work immediately, 1.6 million people wanted to work more than their usual hours, over half a million employed people worked fewer than their usual hours for economic reasons and 975,000 people changed jobs in the last year.

Company news

Global payment provider Splitit Payments (ASX:SPT) announces the global launch of Splitit In-Store, which is expected to occur in August. This new facility integrates Apple Pay and Google Pay, and multiple new merchants have signed on to the launch, including La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, Gem Shopping Network, PROCAM, Faberge, KEF and Aftershock PC.

Australia’s largest oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) has completed the acquisition of FAR Senegal RSSD's interest in the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore (RSSD) joint venture. FAR is an independent, African-focused oil and gas exploration and development company. The final completion payment to FAR was approximately US$126 million.

BetMakers Technology Group (ASX:BET) has signed a multi-year live-streaming agreement with Sports Information Services (SIS) and Racecourse Media Group (RMG) for the distribution of live horseracing vision and wagering content from Britain and Ireland to approved corporate bookmakers in Australia.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 2.71 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 2.16 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Challenger (ASX:CGF), trading 10.33 per cent higher at $6.04. It is followed by shares in Nuix (ASX:NXL) and Cochlear (ASX:COH).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nanosonics (ASX:NAN), trading 5.20 per cent lower at $5.10. It is followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Worley (ASX:WOR).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1802.89 an ounce.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.94 US cents.
Iron ore is 0.20 per cent higher at US$222.36 a ton.

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