Health & tech stocks rally: ASX closes 0.4% higher

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket maintained momentum in the afternoon session thanks to a rise in health and tech stocks. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.4 per cent or 27 points higher at 7,470.

Amongst the sectors, 3 out of 11 finished in the red. Energy closed 0.2 per cent lower, while financials and materials edged 0.1 per cent lower. Meanwhile, the best-performing sector was health care, up 1.2 per cent, followed by technology and consumer discretionary, both up 1.1 per cent.

Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) led the market today, closing 11.8 per cent higher after announcing the results from a phase three trial of rexlemestrocel-L in treating chronic heart failure.

In other company news, chemical manufacturer Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) closed 3.9 per cent higher after reporting a 91 per cent increase in net profit after tax in the 2021 financial year. Energy giant Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closed 1.2 per cent higher after agreeing to sell off a 49 per cent stake in the Pluto Train 2 project to Global Infrastructure Partners.

Adding to the gains, medical equipment company ResMed (ASX:RMD) finished 5 per cent higher, ProMedcius (ASX:PME) closed 3.5 per cent higher, Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH) closed 3.4 per cent higher, Domino's Pizza climbed 2.6 per cent, data operator NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) closed 4.1 per cent higher and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) closed 3.1 per cent higher. 

Miners were mixed with iron-ore giants BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio (ASX:RIO) finishing lower, while Fortescue (ASX:FMG) finished 1.4 per cent higher and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) finished 3.3 per cent higher. 

NAB (ASX:NAB) eased back its losses, closing 0.4 per cent higher, despite weighing on the market earlier today after trading ex-dividend. Westpac (ASX:WBC) and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) closed 0.6 and 0.5 per cent higher, while Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) edged 0.1 per cent lower.

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was internet and telecommunications provider Uniti Group (ASX:UWL), closing 2.5 per cent lower, followed by petroleum giant Ampol (ASX:ALD), down 2.3 per cent.

Local economic news

No eco news slated for today. The central banks are back in focus with the minutes of the Reserve Bank board meeting slated tomorrow.

Company news

Please join us for Stocks of the Hour here. 

Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) has posted a strong increase in net profit after tax (NPAT) in the 2021 financial year as its fertilisers business were the beneficiary of the upswing in commodity prices.

Superannuation admin industry Link Administration (ASX:LNK) has considered it appropriate to provide Carlyle with due diligence information on a non-exclusive basis, in regards to the takeover bid.

Energy giant Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) has agreed to sell a 49 per cent stake in Pluto Train 2 to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) after entering into a sale and purchase agreement. 

Mesoblast (ASX:MSB), a global provider in allogeneic cellular medicines for inflammatory diseases, has announced that results from the Phase 3 trial of rexlemestrocel-L for chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction have been presented.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 3 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 2 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 25 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 29 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Health Care, up 1.2 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 0.2 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mesoblast (ASX:MSB), closing 11.8 per cent higher at $1.90. It was followed by shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and Nextdc (ASX:NXT).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Uniti Group (ASX:UWL), closing 2.5 per cent lower at $3.94. It was followed by shares in Ampol (ASX:ALD) and Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.5 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1857.64 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.7 per cent lower at US$89.75 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 2.2 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.34 lower at US$79.35 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.43 US cents.

  

Are you a 708 sophisticated investor?

A sophisticated investor is defined under Section 708 of the Corporations Act (net assets of $2.5 million or annual incomes in excess of $250,000).

They are eligible to receive information regarding wholesale investment opportunities that are not available to regular or retail investors.

Please subscribe if you would like to be alerted to these types of opportunities.