ASX climbs, Iress surges 13%, Fortescue posts record iron ore shipments: ASX trading 0.4% higher

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

The Australian sharemarket is crawling its way back after its breather yesterday following record highs, the day prior. At time of writing, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.4 per cent or 29 points higher at 7,408. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 33 points.

The moves followed a mixed closed on Wall St after the Fed kept rates unchanged with the taper debate still in the air. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was the only index which advanced on the backdrop of tech titans reporting earnings.

The ripple has seen the Technology sector winning, up 2.5 per cent with buy-now-pay-later stocks taking a leap. Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) has added 4.6 per cent while rival-peer Afterpay (ASX:APT) is up, 3 per cent.

Powering up the sector is Iress (ASX:IRE) surging 13 per cent as they take the floor at their investor day. The platform provider knocked back an unsolicited takeover bid from private equity firm, EQT after multiple offers. They also flagged a share buy-back of up to $100 million to start in August after their half-year results.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is up over 2 per cent after posting a 262 per cent boost in their dividend after a stellar half-year, thanks to strong commodity prices. BHP (ASX:BHP) is up 1.6 per cent while Fortescue Mining (ASX:FMG) has seen a boost of 1.3 per cent, after the single commodity producer smashed record shipments for the June quarter posting an upgraded production guidance. The iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.5 per cent fall.

In Financials, ANZ Group (ASX:ASX) is the only bank in the green with NAB (ASX:NAB) lagging out the major four. The sector is currently flat. Defensives have retreated, following lead from Wall St with Property as the worst performer followed by Utilities and Consumer Staples. 

The index's bounce back has shrugged off growing Covid-19 cases after NSW posted 239 confirmed cases with tighter restrictions announced. VIC records 6 new cases, SA has 2 while QLD reported no local community transmission numbers.

Local economic news

Australian Bureau of Statistics have released figures measuring changes in prices of imports of merchandise landed in Australia and exports of merchandise shipped from Australia.

Export price index rose 13.2 per cent this quarter and 26.0 per cent through the year while the import price index rose 1.9 per cent this quarter and fell 2.5 per cent through the year.

The exchange rate had a small upward impact on export prices and small downward impact on import prices this quarter.

Company news

The world’s fourth largest iron ore producer, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) smashed record shipments for the June quarter exceeding their benchmark, defying weather troubles banking US$6.9 billion.

Millionaires’ factory Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is looking to pour capital back into the business as they cut back on dividend payouts to “support business growth”. The $58 billion bank flagged to investors that they would taper back its dividend payout range from 50 to 70 per cent, down from their usual dividend policy of 60 to 80 per cent.

Trading platform provider Iress (ASX:IRE) knocked back an unsolicited takeover bid from private equity firm, EQT as they present to investors their plans to expand in the marketplace.  

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 2.5 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts, down 1.2 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is IRESS (ASX:IRE), trading 12.6 per cent higher at $14.09. It is followed by shares in Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) and Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Redbubble (ASX:RBL), trading 3.4 per cent lower at $3.65. It is followed by shares in National Storage REIT (ASX:NSR) and Ingenia Group (ASX:INA).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1816.33 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.1 per cent higher at US$202.68 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.5 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.73 US cents.

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