ASX claws back early losses, tech leads: Aus shares close 0.1% higher

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket fought back in the afternoon and retrieved its early losses. At the closing bell, the ASX/200 was 0.1 per cent or 6 points higher at 7,529.

In terms of sectors, consumer discretionary and communication services joined tech's rally in the afternoon. Energy and miners continued to weigh on the index while major banks were mixed.

Tech stocks eased ASX pressure, including Appen (ASX:APX), closing 4.6 per cent higher as the best-performing stock, while buy now, pay later giant Afterpay (ASX:APT) closed 1.7 per cent higher. 

Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) continued to place pressure on the market after trading ex-dividend and closing 10.9 per cent lower. Pilbara Minerals also closed 5.3 per cent lower. 

Energy stocks dragged with Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closing 1.8 per cent lower. Santos (ASX:STO) closed 1.9 per cent lower and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closed 2.9 per cent. Santos and Oil Search announced an extension in making their decision to merge the two companies.

Onto banks, NAB (ASX:NAB) and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) rose in the afternoon, finishing the day 0.2 and 0.6 per cent higher. Commonwealth (ASX:WPL) closed 0.2 per cent lower and Westpac (ASX:WBC) 0.4 per cent lower. 

NSW recorded another 1281 new Covid-19 cases, Victoria recorded 246 new cases and Queensland recorded 0 cases.

Local economic news

Please join us for Stocks of the Hour here. 

Job advertisements for August fell 2.5 per cent for the month to 195,995.

"Job Ads have been more resilient this time around: the cumulative 3.7 per cent fall over the past two months was miniscule compared with the 64 per cent plunge last year during the national lockdown," said ANZ senior economist Catherine Birch.

"Newly lodged job ads are also holding up better. In NSW, they fell 10.3 per cent in July, but were still 24 per cent higher than pre-pandemic." 

Company news 

Private equity firm BGH Capital, has ditched its non binding proposal to acquire 100 per cent of shares in Hansen Technologies (ASX:HSN).

Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) announced the resignation of chief financial officer (CFO) Nick Stratford, who has chosen to pursue other opportunities after 13 years with Incitec Pivot.

Pushpay (ASX:PPH) appointed Richard Keys as interim chief financial officer (CFO), while current CFO Shane Sampson plans to leave at the end of this month.

Cimic (ASX:CIM) company Leighton Asia has been selected by Phoenix IT City Private to construct Equinox, an Indian green building council platinum rated commercial complex in Hyderabad, India.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 31 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 4 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 31 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 8 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 1.2 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 1.7 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Appen (ASX:APX), closing 4.6 per cent higher at $11.00. It was followed by shares in IDP Education (ASX:IEL) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), closing 10.9 per cent lower at $18.57. It was followed by shares in Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 1.8 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has gained 0.8 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 1.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1827.47 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.9 per cent higher at US$144.71 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 4.3 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.96 lower at US$68.33 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.36 US cents.


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