ASX flattens, miners lead, BHP hits record high: Aus shares close flat

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market pulled back from its early gains, to close flat or 0.1 points lower at 7394. Materials continued to make gains, while Energy and Real Estate dragged.

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) got up to $52.19 earlier today, hitting an all-time high. The company closed 1.4 per cent higher at $51.95. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 2.6 per cent higher, while Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) closed 0.9 per cent higher.

Energy weighed on the index, with Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closing 1.3 per cent lower, Santos (ASX:SHL) 2 per cent lower and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) 1 per cent lower.

Health Care dropped in the afternoon session, despite Sonic Health Care (ASX:SHL) reaching a record high of $40.65 earlier today. The company closed flat at $40.10. Health Care giant CSL (ASX:CSL) closed 0.3 per cent lower.

On to banks, Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) closed 0.2 per cent higher, Westpac (ASC:WBC) and NAB (ASX:NAB) closed 0.4 per cent lower and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) closed 0.7 per cent lower. 

Commercial property giant GPT Group (ASX:GPT) closed 2.7 per cent lower, following news it will withdraw its 2021 guidance amid COVID uncertainty, most notably the rolling lockdowns in Melbourne and Sydney. Australian retailer Best & Less (ASX:BST) listed on the ASX today, and closed 11.1 per cent higher at $2.40.

The best-performing stock was Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC), closing 10.6 per cent higher, and the worst-performing stock was Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR), closing 8.1 per cent lower.

NSW reported 145 new Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, Victoria recorded 11 new cases.

Company news

The finance company AMP (ASX:AMP) has announced the introduction of a new service model with its aligned advice network.

The a2 Milk company has announced the appointment of Amanda Hart as Chief People & Culture Officer. Amanda will join a2 Milk (a2MC) from her most recent role as head of human resources (HR) in Australia and New Zealand for Dyson Appliances

City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX) has signed and completed a share purchase agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the shares in JPC United for $9.6 million in cash, from the co-founders of Navabi.

Real Estate investor and fund manager Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW), has announced Jonathan Callaghan as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Australian retailer Best & Less Group (ASX:BST) has listed on the ASX today, following a successful initial public offering (IPO) that raised $60 million at $2.16 per share.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 169 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 14.25 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 16.25 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 8 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Materials, up 1 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 1.4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC), closing 10.6 per cent higher at $7.11. It was followed by shares in Redbubble (ASX:RBL) and Alumina (ASX:AWC).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR), closing 8.1 per cent lower at $1.49. It was followed by shares in The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M) and Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 1.04 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 3.4 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 2.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1805.03 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.6 per cent lower at US$201.33 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.9 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.97 lower at US$71.10 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.47 US cents.
 

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