Miners dominate, banks drag: ASX closes 0.2% higher

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket maintained momentum in afternoon trade. At the closing bell, the ASX was 0.2 per cent or 16 points higher at 7,505. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 19 points when the market next opens.

Miners continued to dominate as Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) closed 6.6 per cent higher, following positive FY21 results.

Energy as a whole, was higher throughout the day with Consumer Staples and Real Estate stocks easing back losses in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Wesfarmers and major banks weighed on the index. 

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 2.7 per cent higher, followed by Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), closing 3.5 per cent higher.

Energy suppliers were pushing ahead, despite downward pressure from Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), which closed 1 per cent lower. On the other hand, Santos (ASX:STO) closed 2.3 per cent higher and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closed 1.6 per cent higher. 

Despite a decline in Consumer Discretionary stocks as Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) closed 3.2 per cent lower, the funeral specialist InvoCare (ASX:IVC) closed 8.7 per cent higher, following strong half-year results. 

Retail giant Woolworths (ASX:WOW) came back in the afternoon closing 1.1 per cent higher, while Coles (ASX:COL) closed 0.4 per cent lower. 

Major banks weighed on the index with Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) closing 1.2 per cent lower. (ASX:ANZ) closed 1.1 per cent lower, Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 0.7 per cent lower and NAB (ASX:NAB) closed 0.4 per cent lower. 

In headlines, the engineering software Altium (ASX:ALU) closed 14.3 per cent lower as the worst-performing stock, after mixed results in their FY21 earnings. 

NSW recorded 1290 new Covid-19 cases, its highest daily number of cases ever. Meanwhile, Victoria recorded 73 new cases. 

Local economic news

Over the June quarter, company profits and salaries rose. Profits gained 7.1 per cent seasonally adjusted while wages grew 2 per cent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Company news

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Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) doubled its final dividend to $2.11, after a record year of annual shipments ending 30 Jun 2021.

Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) reported revenue of $1.537 million amid a challenging year ending 30 Jun 2021, down 31.3 per cent from the prior year.  

Altium (ASX:ALU) posted revenue of US$180.2 million for the year ending 30 Jun 2021, up 6 per cent from the prior year, driven by their Octopart and China businesses.

Biotech innovator Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) celebrates the appointment of Jennifer Chow as chief executive officer. 

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 21 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 11 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Materials, up 2.8 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, down 1 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was InvoCare (ASX:IVC), closing 8.7 per cent higher at $12.15. It was followed by shares in PolyNovo (ASX:PNV) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Altium (ASX:ALU), closing 14.3 per cent lower at $29.85. It was followed by shares in Nuix (ASX:NXL) and Healius (ASX:HLS).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.5 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.2 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1813.67 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3 per cent higher at US$157.55 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.4 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.36 lower at US$68.38 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.93 US cents.

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