ASX200 regains Feb 2020 levels: ASX shares close 2.5% higher over week

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The ASX200 opened lower but advanced over the session to end 0.7 per cent higher today. The index is sitting at a level we haven’t seen since late February 2020, before the impacts of Covid wreaked havoc on the market.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 46 points higher to finish at 6,758.

Over the week, the market has gained 171 points or 2.5 per cent.

Futures market 

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 161 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 20 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 43 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 49 point rise on Monday morning.

Broker moves

Citi has upgraded energy company Ausnet Services (ASX:AST) from a Sell to a Neutral, with a price target of $1.81. This comes as anlysts lower forecasts on the company’s accounting tax and net interest expenses. However, Citi does not believe AusNet will be able to grow dividends faster than inflation for years to come and therefore prefers, Ausnet’s competitor APA Group (ASX:APA). Shares in Ausnet Services (ASX:AST) closed 1.4 per cent lower at $1.80.

Company news

Oil and gas explorer, FAR (ASX:FAR) has postponed its shareholder meeting which was scheduled to consider Woodside Energy’s offer to buy its interest in the RSSD project in Senegal. The postponement was made to allow shareholders time to consider additional information on Remus Horizons’s offers to acquire FAR for 2.1 cents cash per share. The Remus proposal is conditional on the Woodside sale not occurring. While Remus’ offer is not legally binding, FIRB approval would not be required, and Remus says it does not need to undertake any further due diligence on the company. Shares in FAR (ASX:FAR) closed flat at 1 cent.

Business finance provider Thorn Group (ASX:TGA) has suspended its proposed buy-back after backlash from major shareholders. The company was dragged before the Takeovers Panel on concerns the buyback would increase the stake held by major shareholders Somers Group.

Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) says the Democrats Senate win may open US$130 billion cannabis market.

The ATO is paying out research and development tax incentives for the 2020 financial year. Micro-X (ASX:MX1) secured $1.95 million in R&D tax incentives while Cann Group (ASX:CAN) secured $3.2 million worth.

Webcentral Group (ASX:WCG) has expressed its intention to surrender its Sydney office lease to capture a net annualised saving of around $2 million.

Wall Street

Wrapped up our four trading days this week higher: The Dow Jones added 1.4 per cent, The S&P 500 added 1.3 per cent and the tech heavy Nasdaq gained just over 2 per cent.

Best and worst performers of the day
 
The best performing sector was Information Technology adding 2.5 per cent while the worst performing sector was Materials, gaining/shedding 0.8 per cent.
 
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN), rising 8.7 per cent to close at $2.74. Shares in Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Zip Co(ASX:Z1P) followed higher.
 
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IGO (ASX:IGO), dropping 4.2 per cent to close at $7.25. Shares in Deterra Royalties (ASX:DRR) and Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) followed lower.
 
Asian markets
 
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has added 2.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 1.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.
 
Commodities and the dollar
 
Gold is trading at US$1,910 an ounce. 
Iron ore price has gained 1.5 per cent to $US169.31 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.18 up at US$49.20 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.75 US cents.