Tech tumbles, Megaport drops 13%, Energy soars: ASX down 0.9% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket is on track to close lower with energy soaring while technology tumbles, following a negative lead from Wall St. Financial and healthcare sectors are weighing on the index while utilities are a touch higher in the green.

Megaport (ASX:MP1) is dragging the tech sector lower after reporting on its December quarter, which outlined that needs for IT solutions boosted its revenue. However, its shares are tumbling over 13 per cent. Novonix (ASX:NVX) and Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) are also weighing on the sector, down 8.7 and 4.4 respectively.

Major banks are lower with Macquarie (ASX:MQG) declining 2.4 per cent, Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) falling 1.7 per cent, Westpac down 1.2 per cent, NAB (ASX:NAB) down 1 per cent and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) trading 0.8 per cent lower. 

In the healthcare space, the weight is led by Polynovo (ASX:PNV) and ResMed (ASX:RMD) both down almost 4 per cent amid a surge in Covid-19 hospitalisations across the states. 

Heavyweight miners are mixed with BHP (ASX:BHP) down 0.3 per cent after reporting on its December quarter, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) has declined 1.2 per cent, while Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is up 0.4 per cent. Elsewhere, Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) posted record sales for the December quarter despite the pandemic-led challenges. Shares are flat at $11.08. 

To gold stocks, Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) is flat, Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) is down 1.7 per cent and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) is trading 2.8 per cent lower. 

The energy sector is advancing led by Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) jumping 3.1 per cent, Santos (ASX:STO) rising 2.1 per cent and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) adding 1.2 per cent. 

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.9 per cent or 67 points lower at 7,342. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 62 points.

Local economic news

Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer confidence index for January fell 2 per cent to to 102.2.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, up 1 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 2.4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Harvey Norman Holdings (ASX:HVN), trading 3.2 per cent higher at $5.21. It is followed by shares in Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) and Santos (ASX:STO).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Megaport (ASX:MP1), trading 13.4 per cent lower at $15.83. It is followed by shares in Novonix (ASX:NVX) and Allkem (ASX:AKE).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1813.16 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.7 per cent higher at US$127.30 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 4.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.80 US cents.

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