Travel stocks soared after $1.2 billion Government tourism stimulus announced: ASX closed flat

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

It has been a mixed day for the Australian share market. After lifting at the open, the market retreated then rose into positive territory after lunch and lost its early gains on the back of Australia's Health Secretary Brendan Murphy advising that the target of Australians receiving their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of October is likely to be missed. As for the sectors, we saw improvements in the Consumer Discretionary and Industrials with travel stocks leading the way with Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) soaring 9.2 per cent, Corporate Travel (ASX:CTD) rising 4.3 per cent and Webjet (ASX:WEB) gaining 3.75 per cent after the Federal Government launched a $1.2 billion tourism support package to replace Jobkeeper in April. Information Technology was the worst performing sector with Afterpay (ASX:APT) dropping 3.7 per cent.

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed flat at 6,714 points.

Futures market 

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 130 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 19 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing rise of 91 points.
The ASX200 futures are eyeing a 9 point rise tomorrow morning.

Company news

Education Australia have received a proposal around restructuring 40 per cent of their shareholding in IDP Education, (ASX:IEL) a provider of international student placement services and English language testing. The proposal would enable 38 Australian universities to directly control its investment in IDP Education through a combination of an in specie transfer and a market sell down. Shares in IDP Education (ASX:IEL) closed 5.7 per cent lower at $22.86.

Online employment company, SEEK (ASX:SEK) has appointed Kate Koch to join the team in June as Chief Financial Officer. Kate is to replace Geoff Roberts after announcing his retirement in January.

Digital banking and payments company, Novatti Group (ASX:NOV) reports new fintech platform Lifepay is moving to full commercial launch. Lifepay’s integrated financial platform enables users to manage their daily life transactions, personal and social finances from their mobile with an application process consisting of a compliance check and a prepaid Visa card from Novatti into their digital wallet.

New Zealand fuel distributor with branded service stations, Z Energy (ASX:ZEL) expects its financial year 2021 EBITDA to be in a range between $235 - $245 million. Their previous guidance range was $235 - $265 million. Z Energy continues to experience the effects of Covid-19 from the two recent lockdowns, the loss of international tourists in its retail channel and reduced volume in Jet travel, as well as the enduring and ongoing effects of lower refining margins.

Cloud based solution company Buddy Technologies (ASX:BUD) is preparing to ship their Life-X switch product for the North American market, with a street availability date in June. The new LIFX Switch offers smart and Alexa/Google/Siri voice-controlled switching of both physical, non-smart circuits such as lights, ceiling fans, switched wall sockets, as well as controlling LIFX smart lights.

Fintech company Douggh (ASX:DOU) is set to launch a virtual card with Mastercard to enable customers in the US to instantly access their debit card upon signing up.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Consumer Discretionary adding almost 1 per cent while the worst performing sector was Information Technology shedding 1.6 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) rising 9.2 per cent to close at $19.44. Shares in Worley (ASX:WOR) and Bingo (ASX:BIN) followed higher.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was IDP Education (ASX:IEL) dropping 5.7 per cent to close at $22.86. Shares in Afterpay (ASX:APT) and GUD Holdings (ASX:GUD) followed lower.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.6 cent and the Shanghai Composite has added 1.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,733 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 0.2 per cent to US$164.67. Its futures are pointing to a rise of 2.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.43 higher at US$60.81 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.46 US cents.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter?

Would you like to receive our daily news to your inbox?