RBA keeps cash rate on hold at 0.1%: ASX closes 1.5% higher

Market Reports

by Rachael Jones

The local sharemarket closed 1.5 per cent higher today, that’s almost 100 points up to 6,763. Shares in Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) rose today as the company confirmed it has received a number of unsolicited proposals in relation to a potential transaction involving Tabcorp’s Wagering and Media business. Shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL) dropped today.

Futures

US futures all higher. The Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 157 points. S&P 500 futures are eyeing a gain of 20 points. The Nasdaq futures are up 81 points. And the SPI futures are eyeing a rise of 102 points for tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

The Reserve Bank has decided to purchase an additional $100 billion of bonds issued by the Australian Government and states and territories when the current bond purchase program is completed in mid April. Recovery is expected to continue, with the central scenario being for GDP to grow by 3½ per cent over both 2021 and 2022. The central bank also signalled interest rates would be held at a record low 0.1 per cent at least until 2024.

Company news

Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX:NST) are pleased to announce that the Supreme Court of Western Australia has today made orders approving the scheme of arrangement by which Northern Star will acquire all of the shares in Saracen. Saracen will lodge a copy of the Court’s orders with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission tomorrow at which time the scheme will become legally effective. The new Northern Star shares will start trading on February 15. Shares in Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR) closed 0.2 per cent lower at $4.89.

Temple & Webster (AXS:TPW) report that first-half revenue rose 118 per cent to $161.6 million.

The Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) reports a 10 per cent increase in net profit after tax (NPAT) to $42.3 million. Revenue was down 2 per cent to $188.0 million to $190.9 million.

Leading health imaging company Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) has received FDA clearance for its Breast Density AI Algorithm.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology gaining almost 4 per cent while the sector trailing behind was Healthcare dropping 0.4 per cent. The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) closing 8.8 per cent higher to $32.06 followed by Tabcorp Hlodings (ASX:TAH) and Afterpay (ASX:APT).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) dropping 7.1 per cent to $5.13, followed by shares in Blackmores (ASX:BKL) and A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M).

Asian markets higher

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.8 per cent Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 1.8 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.7 per cent higher.

Commodities

Gold is trading at US$1,855 an ounce.
Iron ore has lost 0.9 per cent to $157.07.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a fall of 3.2 per cent.
Light crude has gained $0.38 cents to $51.24.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.28 US cents.