Technology powers ASX, Energy falls as oil price drops: Aus shares closes 0.9% higher

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market continued in positive territory this afternoon, closing 0.9 per cent or 65.10 points higher at 7,327.

Technology continued to lead as the best performing sector, closing 2.8 per cent higher, while Energy was the worst-performing sector, down 1.9 per cent.

Major banks closed in the black. Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) closed 0.8 per cent higher, NAB (ASX:NAB) 0.7 per cent higher, ANZ (ASX:ANZ) and Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 0.4 per cent higher.

Challenger (ASX:CGF) was the best-performing stock, closing 8.8 per cent higher after the retirement service Athene bought a 15 per cent stake in the company. Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) was the worst-performing stock, down 4.8 per cent.

Energy’s downward pressure was led by Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), which closed 2 per cent lower following the completed acquisition of FAR's interest in the Sangomar project.

On the "buy now, pay later" front, global payment provider Splitit (ASX:SPT) closed 3.4 per cent higher. This follows the launch of Splitit In-Store to new merchants with the integration of Apple and Google Pay. Afterpay (ASX:APT) was also up 4.5 per cent.

BetMakers (ASX:BET) made headlines today, closing 4.7 per cent higher, following news it will live-stream British and Irish horseracing into Australia. Workplace solutions provider Damstra (ASX:DTC) also got a mention, up 4.9 per cent, following news it signed an extended multiyear Master Services Agreement with existing customer NBN, Australia’s national wholesale broadband provider.

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released their ‘Participation, Job search and Mobility, Australia’ announcement for February. 2.2 million people who were not working wanted to work, 7 million people not working were available to start work immediately, 1.6 million people wanted to work more than their usual hours, over half a million employed people worked fewer than their usual hours for economic reasons and 975,000 people changed jobs in the last year.

Company news

Global payment provider Splitit Payments (ASX:SPT) announces the global launch of Splitit In-Store, which is expected to occur in August. This new facility integrates Apple Pay and Google Pay, and multiple new merchants have signed on to the launch, including La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, Gem Shopping Network, PROCAM, Faberge, KEF and Aftershock PC.

Australia’s largest oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) has completed the acquisition of FAR Senegal RSSD's interest in the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore (RSSD) joint venture. FAR is an independent, African-focused oil and gas exploration and development company. The final completion payment to FAR was approximately US$126 million.

BetMakers Technology Group (ASX:BET) has signed a multi-year live-streaming agreement with Sports Information Services (SIS) and Racecourse Media Group (RMG) for the distribution of live horseracing vision and wagering content from Britain and Ireland to approved corporate bookmakers in Australia.

Damstra Holdings (ASX:DTC), an Australian-based provider of integrated workplace management solutions, has announced that subsidiary Damstra Technology has signed an extended multiyear Master Services Agreement with existing customer NBN, Australia’s national wholesale broadband provider. under the terms of the contract, Damstra will continue to provide its workforce management platform, branded as enAble, to all nbn's 25,000 workers and contractors nationwide.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 21.00 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 1.50 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 10.75 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 68 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 2.82 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 1.91 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Challenger (ASX:CGF), closing 8.78 per cent higher at $5.95. It was followed by shares in Uniti Group (ASX:UWL) and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nanosonics (ASX:NAN), closing 4.83 per cent lower at $5.12. It was followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Worley (ASX:WOR).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has lost 1.03 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 0.88 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.64 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1801.26 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.20 per cent higher at US$222.36 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.73 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.31 higher at US$73.68 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 75.01 US cents.

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