COVID fears eclipse Wall Street leads: Aus shares close 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Michael Luu

The Australian sharemarket’s rally decelerated after midday, as telcos and utilities capped gains by gold miners.

Mining heavyweights’ performances reflected soaring gold prices and iron ore futures’ indications of a rebound, as BHP (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) all edged higher.

Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) was the standout performer of the big four banks, gaining 1.3 per cent to close at a record high of $97.79. 

Information Technology also saw a mixed picture, as losses in Nuix (ASX:NXL) and Carsales (ASX:CAR) contradicted gains in buy now pay later stocks and accounting platform Xero (ASX:XRO).

Investor appetite from early trading deteriorated in the afternoon session, as fears of COVID-fuelled volatility eclipsed stateside sentiment. New coronavirus spikes across Asia have prompted authorities in South East Asia and Taiwan to tighten up pandemic control measures.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.13 per cent or 9.40 points higher at 7023.60.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 47.00 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 2.50 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 5.75 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 20 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 1.16 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Utilities, down 1.90 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), closing 7.83 per cent higher at $0.62. It was followed by shares in Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) and Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Carsales.Com (ASX:CAR), closing 10.40 per cent lower at $17.20. It was followed by shares in Nuix (ASX:NXL) and Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 0.92%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.75%.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.79%.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1854.09 an ounce.
Iron ore is 12.10 per cent lower at US$208.79 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.63 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.20 lower at US$63.22 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 77.59 US cents.