Tech & miners lift ASX, EML Payments tumble: Aus shares up 0.7% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket started strong and remained in positive territory thanks to miners and tech stocks. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.7 per cent or 49.4 points higher at 7306.1. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 40 points. On Wall Street, the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed out of the three major indexes again.  

All sectors are in the green except healthcare, down 0.2 per cent. Materials are dominating, up 1.7 per cent, followed by technology, up 1 per cent, then communication services, up 0.8 per cent.

The best-performing stock is Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN), trading 5.1 per cent higher. The worst-performing stock is EML Payments (ASX:EML), trading 14.1 per cent lower, after announcing concerns that the Irish Central Bank's limits will hinder the European operations of the Prepaid Financial Services business.

Heavyweight miners are lifting the ASX, led by Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) trading 2.6 per cent higher, followed by BHP (ASX:BHP) up 2 per cent, while iron ore prices rise. Buy now, pay later star Afterpay (ASX:APT) is up 2.4 per per cent, investment giant Magellan (ASX:MFG) is up 4.4 per cent and global testing and inspection company ALS (ASX:ALQ) is up 3.7 per cent.

Energy stocks are lifting led by Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH), up 1.4 and 0.9 per cent. Meanwhile major banks are mixed with NAB (ASX:NAB) up 0.5 per cent and Westpac (ASX:WBC) down 0.3 per cent.

Local economic news

The Reserve Bank released its Financial Stability Review this morning. Financial systems in Australia and internationally have been resilient to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Banks have cushioned the economic impact of the pandemic and have supported the recovery through loan repayment deferrals and new lending.

Low interest rates have contributed to high prices for financial assets and housing. There has been some increased risk-taking and higher borrowing. Most borrowers' income has recovered from large falls resulting from the pandemic. But income remains lower for some in heavily impacted industries and particularly in some emerging market economies.

The number and severity of cyber-attacks on financial institutions continues to increase. In Australia and internationally, financial institutions and regulators are focusing on strengthening the resilience of individual institutions and the financial system to a substantial cyber-attack.

Company news

Woolworths (ASX:WOW) has settled the class action proceedings made against them in 2019, regarding payment shortfalls to its salaried team members.

Metcash (ASX:MTS) will welcome Doug Jones from Massmart Wholesale to take over Jeff Adams role as CEO.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, up 1.7 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is Health Care, up 0.2 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN), trading 5.1 per cent higher at $6.14. It is followed by shares in Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) and ALS (ASX:ALQ).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is EML Payments (ASX:EML), trading 14.1 per cent lower at $3.18. It is followed by shares in Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) and The Star Ent Group (ASX:SGR).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1755.85 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.3 per cent higher at US$117.02 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.89 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.22 US cents. 

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