ASX improves, Zip Co jumps 6%, Oil Search rises: Aus shares 0.1% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market has clawed back losses from the open, now trading 0.1 per cent or 7.7 points lower at 7278.3. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 17 points.

Several sectors are weighing on the index despite a strong performance in buy now, pay later providers Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) and Afterpay (ASX:APT). Zip Co has jumped 6 per cent as the best-performing stock and Afterpay is up 3 per cent following its news of a new ‘money by afterpay’ app.

Oil Search (ASX:OSH) is up 4.6 per cent following a potential merger with Santos despite Energy as a whole being the worst-performing sector. Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is down 2.3 per cent, followed by Santos (ASX:STO), down 3.5 per cent.

Materials have opened lower with BHP (ASX:BHP) down 1.7 per cent following the release of its Q2 results. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is down 1.4 per cent, followed by Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), down 0.2 per cent.

Major banks are also in the red, except ANZ (ASX:ANZ), which is up 1.3 per cent following news about returning funds to shareholders. Westpac (ASX:WBC) is down 0.5 per cent, Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) is down 0.2 per cent and NAB (ASX:NAB) is down 0.5 per cent.

Health care giant CSL (ASX:CSL) is up 0.9 per cent at $285.36, followed by Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH), up 1.8 per cent. Sonic Health Care (ASX:SHL) is down 0.7 per cent.

NSW has recorded 78 new COVID-19 cases. Victoria has extended its lockdown for another 7 days after recording 9 new cases. South Australia is to go into lockdown from 6pm tonight after recording a 5th case. Queensland recorded 1 new case today.

Economic news

The Reserve bank released minutes from their July meeting available here.  

Company news 

Insurance provider IAG (ASX:IAG) has commenced the sales process to divest its interest in their Malaysian venture, AmGeneral Holdings, the general insurance arm of AmBank Group for a deal that could be valued at $340 million.

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) have announced a record production achieved at Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) and Goonyella. Olympic Dam achieved both the highest annual copper production since the acquisition by BHP in 2005 and the highest gold production ever for the operation.

Reliance Worldwide Corporation (ASX:RWC) has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the business assets of LCL for approximately $37 million.

Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) has released their traffic performance review for June 2021. Total passenger traffic in June 2021 recorded 989,000 passengers, down 70.9 per cent from the corresponding period in 2019.

Lovisa Holdings (ASX:LOV), a fast-fashion retailer in jewellery and accessories, have continued to experience disruptions in trading and temporary store closures as a result of the governments COVID-19 measures over the recent months.

Australian energy supplier Santos (ASX:STO), has confirmed that on 25 June 2021 it submitted a confidential, non-binding indicative merger proposal to the Oil Search Board.

Petrol and diesel supplier Ampol (ASX:ALD), has provided an update on the performance of the Lytton refinery for Q2 2021. The Lytton refiner margin (LRM) for Q2 was US $6.29 per barrel, higher than the US $5.48 per barrel in the first quarter.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 1.03 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Energy, down 1.4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), trading 5.8 per cent higher at $7.44. It is followed by shares in Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW), trading 5.1 per cent lower at $5.45. It is followed by shares in Santos (ASX:STO) and Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1818.52 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.2 per cent lower at US$221.04 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.46 US cents.

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