Share market climbed to 11-month high: ASX closes 0.8% higher

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

It's been a positive day on the Australian share market as it climbed to an 11-month high. Information technology was the best performing sector as buy now, pay later stocks rose early in the day. The biggest drop was Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) after Chief Executive Officer Vik Bansal decided to step down as part of a mutual agreement with the Board.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 53 points higher, or 0.8 per cent higher to finish at 6,824.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 57 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 13 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing rise of 86 points.
The ASX200 futures are eyeing a 42 point rise tomorrow morning

Economic news

The Australian Bureau of statistics have released figures showing the unemployment rate fell to 6.6 per cent in December as 50,000 new jobs were created.

Company news

Investment company Milton's (ASX:MLT) half year net profit after tax fell 45.4 per cent to $38.4 million due to lower dividend income on companies in its investment portfolio. The total portfolio return for the 6 months to December 2020 was 15.4 per cent with total shareholder return at 19 per cent. Operating revenue dropped 43.5 per cent to $40.9 million. The company are looking to pay a fully franked dividend of 5.75 cents per share in March. Shares in Milton (ASX:MLT) closed 0.2 per cent lower at $4.91.

Lithium-boron producer Ioneer (ASX:INR) has produced battery grade lithium hydroxide at their plant in Nevada in the USA. This was produced in their Rhyolite Ridge plant converting a compound already made at the plant called lithium carbonate. The ability for the company to produce both compounds means it can supply demand for the electric vehicle sector. Shares in Ioneer (ASX:INR) closed at 11.7 per cent higher at 34 cents.

Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) delivered a strong fourth quarter with sales revenue up 32 per cent from the last quarter to $920 million.

Netwealth's (ASX:NWL) funds under administration grew 14 per cent in the December quarter to $38.8 billion up 36.1 per cent to the prior corresponding period.

Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) released their quarter figures to December showing customer numbers across Australia, New Zealand and the United States grew 97 per cent to 5.7 million.

Santos (ASX:STO) has recorded annual production of 89 million barrels of oil equivalent for their fourth quarter, 18 per cent above the prior year and at the top end of upgraded guidance provided in December.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was information technology adding 2.7 per cent while the worst performing sector was energy lost 0.5 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), rising 23.1 per cent to close at $7.36. Shares in Netwealth (ASX:NWL) and Afterpay (ASX:APT) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) dropping 8.5 per cent to close at $2.38. Shares in Super Retail (ASX:SUL) and ProMedicus (ASX:PME) followed lower.

Asian markets 

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,872 an ounce.
Iron ore price lost 0.5 per cent to US$170.55. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 0.7 per cent.
Light crude is 9 cents lower at US$50.67 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.73 US cents.