Tech soars, James Hardie jumps 4%: ASX flat at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market climbed at the open and dipped back before lunchtime. At noon, the ASX is flat at 7538.1. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 8 points.

Tech stocks are pushing ahead, while Energy and Industrials are dragging the index. 

Battery and tech company Novonix (ASX:NVX) is up 11.6 per cent following Phillips 66 taking a 16 per cent stake in the company. Global network software Megaport (ASX:MP1) is up 2 per cent following its FY21 results. Buy now, pay later giant Afterpay (ASX:APT) has maintained its foothold in the black, up 2.9 per cent. 

Energy suppliers were lower as oil prices sank. Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is down 0.5 per cent, Santos (ASX:STO) is down 0.9 per cent and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) is down 1 per cent. 

Road and toll operator Transurban group (ASX:TCL) is trading 3.3 per cent lower. Aurizon Holdings (ASX:AZJ) is also down 2.9 per cent. 

In headlines, retirement management company Challenger (ASX:CGF) is trading 0.4 per cent lower despite record sales and rising profits for the 2021 financial year. 

James Hardie (ASX:JHX), a building material company, is up 4 per cent, with shares rising to $50 for the first time this morning. Following its Q1 update, it reports strong expectations across North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. 

Major banks are higher, except ANZ (ASX:ANZ), which is down 0.1 per cent. Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) is up 0.8 per cent, Westpac (ASX:WBC) is up 0.7 per cent and NAB (ASX:NAB) is up 0.3 per cent. 

NSW recorded 356 new Covid-19 cases, the highest number yet. Victoria recorded 20 new cases and Queensland recorded 3. 

Local economic news 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released their 'Building Approvals' statement for June 2021. The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 6.7 per cent in June. Private sector houses fell 11.8 per cent, while private sector dwellings excluding houses rose 0.8 per cent. The value of non-residential building approved fell 3 per cent.

Company news 

Challenger (ASX:CGF) recorded strong growth and record sales, driving business momentum for the period ending 30 Jun 2021 (FY21).

Global network software Megaport (ASX:MP1), reports record performance for the period ending 30 Jun 2021 (FY21).

Energy manufacturing and logistics company Phillips 66, is set to acquire a 16 per cent stake in NOVONIX (ASX:NVX)

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 1.4 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Industrials, down 1.3 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Orocobre (ASX:ORE), trading 7.7 per cent higher at $9.24. It is followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS), trading 5.1 per cent lower at $1.53. It is followed by shares in Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1734.77 an ounce.
Iron ore is flat at US$172.51 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 3.7 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.20 US cents.

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