Miners dominate, Health & Tech shares drag: ASX closes 0.5% higher

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market continued to make gains in the afternoon trade. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.5 per cent or 37.1 points higher at 7,431.

Miners dominated the index, with BHP, Rio Tinto and BlueScope hitting record highs earlier today. Banks also pushed ahead, while Health and Tech shares dropped. 

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 2.9 per cent higher at $53.42, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 1.7 per cent higher at $132.41 and BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) closed 6.8 per cent higher following its preliminary results for FY21, which resulted in approximately 1.72 billion.

OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) closed 8.3 per cent higher as the best-performing stock following the release of its Q2 report.

Onto banks, Westpac (ASX:WBC) was closely watched today, closing 0.5 per cent higher following news it will divest its Pacific businesses. Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) closed 1.3 higher, followed by ANZ (ASX:ANZ) and NAB (ASX:NAB), 0.7 per cent higher.

Major health shares were down. CSL (ASX:CSL) closed 0.3 per cent lower, Sonic (ASX:SHL) closed 0.5 per cent lower and Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH) 1.9 per cent lower.

Energy suppliers were volatile. Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closed 0.4 lower cent following the release of its Q2 results. Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closed 1.9 per cent higher along with Santos (ASX:STO), 1.1 per cent higher.

In headlines today, online furniture and homeware retailer Temple and Webster (ASX:TPW) closed 7.3 per cent higher following record highs in revenue and customer volume in its full-year results.

NSW recorded 172 new Covid-19 cases, being the highest daily total for the current Sydney outbreak. Victoria is set to lift its lockdown after recording 10 new cases.

Local economic news

ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence drops a further 3.6 points to 100.7 as covid-19 cases numbers remain stubbornly high in NSW, despite the greater Sydney lockdown.

Consumer confidence continues to remain well below the 2021 weekly average of 110.6, however it is still 11.7 points higher than the same week a year ago, July 25 2020 at 89 points.

Confidence fell in both major cities this week, down 2.2 points to 99.3 in Sydney and down 6.8 points to 99.0 in Melbourne.

Consumer Confidence also fell significantly in Brisbane, however increased slightly in Adelaide as the state continues to record low COVID-19 case numbers. The indices to drive consumer confidence lower this week were those related to prospects for the next year with those expecting to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year down significantly and those expecting ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next year also down.

Company news

Please join us for Stocks of the Hour here.

Online furniture and homeware retailer Temple & Webster (ASX:TPW) post record highs across the board in revenue and customer volume for their full year ending 30 Jun 2021.

Papua New Guinea's oil & gas supplier Oil Search (ASX:OSH), increased its revenue and oil production for the second quarter (Q2), ending 30 Jun 2021.

Global call recording software Dubber Corporation (ASX: DUB), received firm commitments for a two-tranche placement, issuing shares to institutional investors at $2.95 per share.

Aged care provider Japara Health Care (ASX:JHC) has entered into a scheme implementation deed with Calvary Health Care by way of scheme of arrangement.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 74 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 9 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 21 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 28 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Materials, up 1.6 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 0.98 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL), closing 6.5 per cent higher at $23.48. It was followed by shares in BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) and Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was The A2 Milk Company (ASX:A2M), closing 6.3 per cent lower at $6.00. It was followed by shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) and Nuix (ASX:NXL).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.4 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 1.7 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1795.47 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.7 per cent higher at US$202.74 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.1 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.11 higher at US$72.02 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.65 US cents. 

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