Seesaw session sees shares end 0.3% higher: banks and miners offset industrials drag

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The Australian share market finished a seesaw session firmly higher after a late rally. Biotech giant CSL (ASX:CSL) closed 1 per cent higher after news the Federal Government will fund the company to help it manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine. The major banks and miners helped to offset losses in energy and industrials. Shares slipped to one month lows at the open but clawed back to finish up 19 points or 0.3 per cent higher at 5945. The ASX200 futures are eyeing a steady start for tomorrow morning with a rise of 27 points.

Laybuy, the latest buy now, pay later entrant onto the local market, has made a stunning debut, rising more than 50 per cent within the opening hour of trade.
The stock had a listing price of $1.41 but quickly shot as high as $2.30, before closing at $2.05 The stock had an indicative market cap of $246 million prior to listing but is now worth over $383 million making it larger than Openpay.

Economic news

ANZ Australian job ads rose 1.6 per cent Month on month in August falling short of an expected 6.5 per cent increase and well below the 19.1 per cent increase in July. Job Ads are down 27 per cent since February and down 30 per cent year on year.

Company news

The Board of mining company Fenix Resources (ASX:FEX) has given the green light for the development of the Iron Ridge DSO iron ore project in Western Australia. Iron Ridge development on track to commence in the December quarter, with a view to first shipment of ore in early 2021. Shares in Fenix Resources closed flat at 15 cents.

The Australian government will fund CSL (ASX:CSL) to enable the company to get its facilities ready to make the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine onshore if successful. The health giant has signed a “heads of agreement with the federal government to manufacture 30 million doses of the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine, which is currently the world’s most advanced undergoing phase three trials.

Viva Energy (ASX:VEA) has warned it could completely shutdown at its Geelong refinery. The company says the impacts of COVID-19 and the restrictions on mobility and the economy are putting extreme pressures on the Refining business that it has not experienced before and are not sustainable over the longer term.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was materials adding 1.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was industrials, shedding 1.7 per cent. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK), rising 6.3 per cent to close at $1.70 Shares in Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Western Areas (ASX:WSA) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mesoblast (ASX:MSB), dropping 5.5 per cent to close at $4.68. Shares in IOOF Group (ASX:IFL) and Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) followed lower.

Asian markets

All lower: Japan’s Nikkei has is down 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has dropped 1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,932 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 2.1 per cent to US$129.92.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.2 per cent.
Light crude has shed US$0.69 to US$39.90 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.79 US cents.