Commodities & banks push forward: Aus shares close 0.8% higher

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket closed the day in positive territory thanks to heavyweight miners and banks pushing forward amid the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the greater Sydney to close 0.8 per cent or 60 points higher at 7,334.

Materials was the best-performing sector, closing 2.2 per cent higher, with iron ore giant BHP (ASX:BHP) dominating the sector, up 3.2 per cent. Fortescue Metals followed (ASX:FMG), closing 3.3 per cent higher, and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) added 1.8 per cent. These figures came off the back of the People's Bank of China's decision to cut the reserve requirement ratio for major commercial banks by 50 basis points. This will allow them to lend more to offset the rising price of raw materials.

The worst-performing sector was Consumer Staples, which closed 0.4 per cent lower. Redbubble (ASX:RBL) was down 2.9 per cent lower as the worst-performing stock, while Australian civil construction and mining company NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) closed almost 12 per cent higher as the best-performer, following news that Boggabri Coal Operations is set to acquire the mining equipment of Golding Contractors.

Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) and Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 0.6 per cent higher, NAB (ASX:NAB) added 0.5 per cent, and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) was up 0.4 per cent.

In headlines, Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) closed 0.5 per cent higher following its offer to acquire Australian Pharmaceutical Industries, the owner of chemist chain Priceline. Village operator Summerset Group (ASX:SNZ) closed 1.5 per cent higher after reporting 270 sales for the quarter ending 30 June 2021, representing a record Q2 result for both new sales and resales.

The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) was amid the declining sector, closing 0.7 per cent lower following its announcement of two new members to the executive leadership team in the Asia Pacific division. Coles (ASX:COL) closed 1.2 per cent lower and Woolworths (ASX:WOL) closed 0.2 per cent lower.

Nitro Software (ASX:NTO) closed 1.5 per cent lower following the acquisition of PDFpen, which caters to Mac, iPad and iPhone users using the PDF document format.

NSW recorded 112 Covid-19 cases while Queensland and Victoria recorded 0 cases. 

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released building approvals numbers for May. The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 7.1 per cent in May. Private sector houses fell 10.3 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, while private sector dwellings excluding houses rose 1.2 per cent. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of non-residential building approved rose 28.5 per cent.

Company news

Summerset Group (ASX:SNZ) has reported 270 sales for the quarter ending 30 June 2021, comprising 154 new sales and 116 resales.

Nitro Software (ASX:NTO) has completed the acquisition of PDFpen, extending native PDF productivity to Mac, iPad and iPhone users, and enabling Nitro to serve all workers across businesses globally.

Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG) has acquired a 60 per cent controlling equity interest in Unitech Building Services, a South Australian-based insurance building services company.

Australian civil construction and mining company NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH) has advised that Boggabri Coal Operations (BCO) has exercised an option to acquire the majority of the major mining equipment of Golding Contractors, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRW.

The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) has announced the appointment of two new members to the executive leadership team following the recent resignation of Peter Nathan, Chief Executive of Asia Pacific.

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has announced that it has submitted a non-binding, indicative offer to acquire 100 per cent of the shares outstanding in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) for $1.38 cash per share. Australian-based Wesfarmers operates in retail, chemical, fertiliser, industrial and safety products.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 43 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 4 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 65 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Materials, up 2.2 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Consumer Staples, down 0.4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was NRW Holdings (ASX:NWH), closing almost 12 per cent higher at $1.73. It was followed by shares in Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Redbubble (ASX:RBL), closing 2.9 per cent lower at $3.41. It was followed by shares in The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) and Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 2.2 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.5 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.6 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1800 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.5 per cent lower at US$214.77 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.5 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.19 lower at US$73.62 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.70 US cents.

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