ASX jumps, Afterpay +24%, home prices soar: ASX trading 1.4% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market has jumped higher, starting the week on a positive note. At noon, the ASX is tracking 1.4 per cent or 102.9 points higher at 7495.5. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 105 points.

The Tech sector is dominating the market, up 8.5 per cent, with Banks and Healthcare among the gainers.

Buy now, pay later giant Afterpay (ASX:APT) is up a staggering 24 per cent at $119.70, after US payment platform Square agreed to purchase Afterpay for $39 million. 

Health Care companies Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH) and CSL (ASX:CSL) are both up 1.8 per cent, while Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) is up 0.8 per cent.

Major banks are rising, with NAB (ASX:NAB) tracking 2.1 per cent higher. Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) is up 1.8 per cent, Westpac (ASX:WBC) is up 1.7 per cent and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) 1.4 per cent. 

In headlines, Oil Search is trading 5.6 per cent higher, following a revised merger proposal with Santos (ASX:STO), which is up 1 per cent. 

NSW recorded 207 new Covid-19 cases, while Victoria recorded 2 new cases. Queensland’s lockdown has been extended as cases grow by 13. 

Local economic news

Australian housing values increased a further 1.6 per cent in July, according to CoreLogic’s national home value index. The latest rise takes housing values 14.1 per cent higher over the first seven months of the year and 16.1 per cent higher over the past twelve months.

CoreLogic's research director, Tim Lawless described the market as strong, but losing steam. “The 16.1 per cent lift in national housing values over the past year is the fastest pace of annual growth since February 2004, however the monthly growth rate has been trending lower since March this year when the national index rose 2.8 per cent.”   

The Ai Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index fell to a four-month low of 60.8 in July 2021 from 63.2 a month earlier as lockdown looms in Sydney and other large local areas, with both new orders (62.5 vs 70.6 in June) and export sales (53.6 vs 60.2) growing much softer.

ANZ job advertisements for July fell 0.5 per cent, its first dip in 14 months to 206,819 available positions.
Melbourne Institute released July inflation figures with consumer price index 0.5 per cent over the month, up 2.6 per cent on a year ago. The trimmed mean measure rose 0.5 per cent, up 1.9 per cent a year ago.

Company news 

US payment platform Square, agreed to acquire all shares in buy now, pay later giant Afterpay (ASX:APT) for $39 billion via a court-approved arrangement.

Energy suppliers Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) reached an agreement on merger ratio via a revised proposal from Santos.

Home Consortiums (ASX:HMC) proposed HealthCo and Wellness REIT enters agreement to raise $650 million and lodged a statement with Australian securities.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 8.5 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is Materials, up 0.01 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Afterpay (ASX:APT), trading 24.1 per cent higher at $119.98. It is followed by shares in Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Boral (ASX:BLD), trading 4.46 per cent lower at $6.86. It is followed by shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Champion Iron (ASX:CIA).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1809.90 an ounce.
Iron ore is 7.4 per cent lower at US$181.57 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.6 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.33 US cents.


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