Afterpay soars to record high: ASX ends 0.3% higher

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The local sharemarket has started the week on a positive note despite weak leads from Wall Street. The S&P/ASX200 rose 18 points or 0.3 per cent to 6660. Wesfarmers shares have added 2.8 per cent today to hit a record high of $50.985. Afterpay shares rose 8.8 per cent to a record high of $109.93 amid optimism about its partnership and as the stock closes in on its entry into the ASX20. National Australia Bank shares rose 1.3 per cent to $23.64 and IOOF shares lifted 3.03 per cent to $3.74 after the ACCC gave the green light to IOOF’s proposed takeover of NAB’s wealth manager MLC. Eagers Automotive shares rose over 4 per cent $14.11 on news of the sale of two of its assets. Meantime, dental group Pacific Smiles shares shot up 12.7 per cent to reach $2.39 after lifting its earnings guidance. But Iron ore miners lagged behind today after a steallar run last week Fortescue shed 3.4 per cent to $22.16 while Rio lost almost 2 per cent.
In political news, Resources Minister Keith Pitt has ruled out placing tariffs on iron ore exports to China after his predecessor Matt Canavan called for a retaliatory levy.

Futures

The Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 181 points. S&P 500 futures are eyeing a gain of 17 points. The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a rise of 37 points. And the SPI futures are eyeing a rise of 24 points tomorrow morning.



Company news

Shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) see sawed today after the casino operator says it has become “aware” that Maurice Blackburn has filed a class action in the Supreme Court of Victoria against the company. Crown says it has not yet been served with an originating process. Shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) closed 0.7 per cent higher at $9.79.

The ACCC has given the green light to IOOF’s (ASX:IFL) proposed acquisition of MLC Wealth Management.The competition watchdog says that while IOOF and MLC both supply wealth management solutions in Australia feedback from customers financial advisers and other industry participants suggested that this deal would not be likely to substantially lessen competition.

Eagers Automotive Group (ASX:APE) was among today’s top performers after selling the Daimler truck business in Australia and a separate Sydney property for a combined $108 million to a United States trucking group.

IPOs
There were two debuts on the ASX today. Construction engineering company GenusPlus (ASX:GNP ) listed 96 cents started trading at $1.00 opened at and closed at 99 cents
Meanwhile mining and exploration company Errawarra Resources (ASX:ERW) issued at 20 cents came on at 25 cents and closed at 22 cents.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is tech gaining 3 per cent while the sector trailing behind was healthcare dropping almost 1.4 per cent. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay (ASX:APT) rising 8.8 per cent to $109.93, followed by shares in GWA Group (ASX:GWA) and Tassal Group (ASX:TGR) The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Avita Therapeutics(ASX:AVH) dropping 5.3 per cent to $5.20 , followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Deterra (ASX:DRR).

Asian markets mixed

Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has shed 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.3 per cent.

Commodities

Gold is trading at US$1,835 an ounce.
Iron ore has gained 2.3 per to $160.13.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a fall of 3.2 per cent.
Light crude has gained $0.19 cents to $46.39.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.41 US cents.