Miners rally, Zip Co & Mesoblast surge 10%: ASX up 0.9% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket is swimming in positive territory this morning thanks to strong gains from miners and technology stocks. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.9 per cent or 65 points higher at 7378.9. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 35 points.

All sectors are in the green, with materials adding the most points, up 2 per cent. This is followed by technology, up 1.9 per cent, then energy, up 1.7 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is health care, up 0.1 per cent, despite Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) being up 10 per cent as the best-performing stock, although it has not released official company news today.

Heavyweight miners rally as iron ore prices surge. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) is up 2.7 per cent, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is up 2.2 per cent, BHP (ASX:BHP) is up 1.7 per cent and Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) is up 4.5 per cent.

Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) is also up 5.3 per cent and Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) has advanced 1.9 per cent after buying a 70 per cent interest in the Oracle nickel project.

Tech stocks took a strong lead from Wall Street where the Nasdaq surged 3 per cent. WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) is up 2.8 per cent and buy now-pay late giants Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) are up 3.3 and 9.3 per cent. 

Santos (ASX:STO) is up 2.7 per cent after receiving ICCC approval for its merger with Oil Search (ASX:OSH), while Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is up 2.2 per cent following the announcement that it will invest $7 billion in clean energy by 2030.

In headlines, gambling giant Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) is up 1.9 per cent despite news of its chief financial officer resigning. Telstra (ASX:TLS) is up 0.5 per cent following the purchase of the maximum amount of low band spectrum.

Travel stocks pulled back from early gains this week, with Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) down 1.6 per cent and Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) down 0.2 per cent after announcing no final dividend. Major banks are also lower, led by ANZ (ASX:ANZ) down 0.8 per cent.

Local economic news 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the September labour account report which provides an insight into the number of Aussies working multiple jobs.

Total jobs decreased 2.7 per cent to 405,500 and filled jobs decreased 2.6 per cent or 377,900 to 14 million. Multiple job holders decreased 7.8 per cent, secondary jobs decreased 7.5 per cent to 69,600, hours worked decreased 4.7 per cent and employed people decreased 2.3 per cent to 13.2 million.

Keep an eye out this afternoon for the job vacancies report from the National Skills Commission for November.

Company news
Aristocrat Leisure's (ASX:ALL) chief financial officer (CFO) Julie Cameron-Doe has resigned after more than eight years with the business and four years in the CFO role.

Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) confirmed there will be no final dividend for 2021 given the significant impact of Covid-19.

Energy giants Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and Santos (ASX:STO) have received approval from Papua New Guinea's watchdog in relation to its merger.

Telecom giant Telstra (ASX:TLS) has secured the maximum amount of low band spectrum in the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s 850/900 MHz band auction, investing $616 million to secure 2x10MHz.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, up 2 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is Health Care, up 0.1 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mesoblast (ASX:MSB), trading 10.0 per cent higher at $1.76. It is followed by shares in Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) and Redbubble (ASX:RBL).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM), trading 1.7 per cent lower at $2.68. It is followed by shares in Domino Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) and Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1785.74 an ounce.
Iron ore is 8.1 per cent higher at US$108.55 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.46 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.23 US cents.

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