ASX seesaws in late hours: Aus shares close 3 points up

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

Text only (non-video) report.

The ASX200 had been trading mostly higher throughout the session before losing momentum and slipping into bearish territory around the 2.30pm mark. Benchmark indices across Asia are tracking mostly higher, on the back of China’s encouraging economic data for March. China’s exports rose 30.6 per cent, however failing to meet expectations. The positive sentiment from China also transcended to the Australian sharemarket, as the ASX200 steered back into positive waters just before the close of trade.

Gains in the tech sector, led by payment solutions firms ZipCo (ASX:Z1P) and Afterpay Touch (ASX:APT) helped to cancel out the pull-back by mining heavyweights and major banks. Bucking the downward theme of the broader mining sector, lithium players, such as Orocobre (ASX:ORE), continued to be driven by the US government’s endorsement of electric vehicles.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.04 per cent or 3 points higher at 6,977.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.5 per cent.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 3 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a fall of 4 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a fall of 21 points.
ASX200 futures are eyeing a 13 point fall for tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

Bell Porter has rated the a2 Milk Company as a buy, taking into consideration the company’s increase in exported instant milk formula to China.

The dairy producer’s records show that infill levels are showing a tendency to fall, following 2 straight months of increasing volumes of baby formula to the Chinese market. Bell Porter has reflected stronger confidence in the milk business by lifting A2M’s valuation from $8.65 to $9.50

Company news

Payment solutions provider Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) has reported March quarter revenue of over $114 million, indicating an 80 per cent rise year on year.

The company’s American subsidiary, Quadpay led the charge with a revenue growth of 188 per cent, raking in $54.5 million. Meanwhile, Zip Co Australia recorded a 10 per cent increase in revenue in the quarter.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, closing 2.2 per cent higher, while the worst-performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts, closing 1.2 per cent lower.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), closing almost 17 per cent higher at $9.73. It was followed by shares in Bingo Industries (ASX:BIN) and Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Perenti Global, closing 4.1 per cent lower at $1.06. It was followed by shares in Cimic Group (ASX:CIM) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,727 an ounce.
The iron ore price is 0.6 per cent higher at US$174.57 a ton.
Its futures are pointing to a rise of 2.7 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.19 higher at US$58.28 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.06 US cents.