Afterpay up 3%, NSW records worst day in cases: Aus shares close 0.3% higher

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian share market edged higher in afternoon trade. At the closing bell, the ASX was 0.3 per cent or 24 points higher at 7,563.

The Tech sector dominated, closing 1.6 per cent higher. Communication Services and Financials also closed higher, while Energy dragged.

Amid Tech's incline, buy now, pay later star Afterpay (ASX:APT) maintained momentum, closing 3 per cent higher at $134.2. Global software network Megaport (ASX:MP1) closed 3 per cent higher following its FY21 results. Batteries and tech company Novonix (ASX:NVX) closed 13.6 per cent higher following Phillips 66 taking a stake in the company.

Australia's largest mobile network Telstra (ASX:TLS) closed 0.9 per cent higher. 

Oil prices fell. Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closed 0.6 per cent lower, Santos (ASX:STO) closed 1.7 per cent lower and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closed 1.3 per cent lower. 

Onto banks, Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) closed 1.4 per cent higher, Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 0.8 per cent higher, NAB (ASX:NAB) closed 0.4 per cent higher and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) dipped 0.2 per cent lower.

Following earning results, building materials company James Hardie (ASX:JHX) closed 3 per cent higher. Retirement Investment firm Challenger (ASX:CGF) closed 1.7 per cent higher. 

NSW recorded 356 new Covid-19 cases, the highest number yet. Victoria recorded 20 new cases and Queensland recorded 3 new cases. 

Local economic news

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released their 'Building Approvals' statement for Jun 2021. The seasonally adjusted estimate for total dwellings approved fell 6.7 per cent in June. Private sector houses fell 11.8 per cent, while private sector dwellings excluding houses rose 0.8 per cent. The value of non-residential building approved fell 3 per cent. 

Company news

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Challenger (ASX:CGF) recorded strong growth and record sales, driving business momentum for the period ending 30 Jun 2021 (FY21).

Global network software Megaport (ASX:MP1), reports record performance for the period ending 30 Jun 2021 (FY21).

Energy manufacturing and logistics company Phillips 66, is set to acquire a 16 per cent stake in NOVONIX (ASX:NVX)

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 43 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 14 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 23 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, closing 1.6 per cent higher. The worst-performing sector was Industrials, closing 1.1 per cent lower.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), closing 10.95 per cent higher at $2.33. It was followed by shares in PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS), closing 5.9 per cent lower at $1.52. It was followed by shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.24 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.71 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.35 per cent. 

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1734.77 an ounce.
Iron ore is flat at US$172.51 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.5 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.97 higher at US$67.45 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.28 US cents.

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