ASX hits record high, Tech & Banks rise: Aus shares close 1.3% higher

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market hit a record high just before lunchtime, above 7,500 and maintained strong gains throughout the day.  At the closing bell, the ASX was 1.3 per cent or 99 points higher at 7,491.

All sectors closed higher, with Technology as best performer and Banks amid the surge. 

Buy now, pay later giant Afterpay (ASX:APT) closed an astounding 18.8 per cent higher at $114.80, after US payment platform Square agreed to purchase Afterpay for $39 million. ZipCo (ASX:Z1P) closed 8.4 per cent higher at $7.20. 
 
Banks pushed forward with NAB (ASX:NAB) closing 2.2 per cent higher. Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) closed 1.9 per cent higher, Westpac (ASX:WBC) 2 per cent higher and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) 1.7 per cent higher. 

Major Health stocks also had a positive run. CSL (ASX:CSL) closed 1.8 per cent higher, Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH) closed 2.8 per cent higher and Sonic  (ASX:SHL) closed 0.6 per cent higher. 

In headlines, Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closed 5 per cent higher, following a revised merger proposal with Santos (ASX:STO), which closed 0.2 per cent higher.

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

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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.

Renewable energy developer Tilt Renewables (ASX:TLT), partnered with Genesis Energy for construction at the 75MW Kaiwaikawe Wind Farm, located in Northland New Zealand.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 155 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 23 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 82 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 98 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 6.5 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains was Materials, up 0.1 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay (ASX:APT), closing 18.8 per cent higher at $114.80. It was followed by shares in Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), closing 4.4 per cent lower at $60.27. It was followed by shares in Champion <br>Iron (ASX:CIA) and Boral (ASX:BLD).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 1.7 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.8 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 1.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1809.26 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 0.5 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.75 lower at US$73.20 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.47 US cents.

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