Tech & energy sector lift, Iron ore miners rally: ASX closes 1% higher

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket rose further in the afternoon session as miners, technology and energy stocks pushed ahead. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 1 per cent or 92 points higher at 7,405.

All sectors closed in the green, led by communication services up 2.2 per cent, materials up 2 per cent, technology up 1.9 per cent, and energy up 1.8 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains was utilities, up 0.2 per cent.

BNPL provider Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) led the market, surging 10.9 per cent and medical treatment company Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) jumped 9.7 per cent. Both companies did not release any official company news today.

Heavyweight miners rallied as iron ore prices surged. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) closed 3.5 per cent higher, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 2.4 per cent higher, BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 2.1 per cent higher and Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) closed 6.4 per cent higher. Lithium miner Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) also closed 5.1 per cent higher. 

Across the energy sector, Santos (ASX:STO) closed 2.7 per cent higher after receiving ICCC approval for its merger with Oil Search (ASX:OSH). Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) closed 3.7 per cent higher and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closed 2.5 per cent higher.

Tech stocks continued to rally, with WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) closing 3.3 per cent higher and Afterpay (ASX:APT) closing 4.5 per cent higher. Adding to the gains, retail giant Kogan (ASX:KGN) lifted 6.2 per cent and real estate advertiser REA (ASX:REA) advanced 5.1 per cent.

In headlines, gambling giant Aristocrat (ASX:ALL) closed 1.6 per cent higher on news that its chief financial officer is resigning. Telstra (ASX:TLS) closed 1.2 per cent higher following the purchase of a maximum amount of low band spectrum. 

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.

Company news

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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.

Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) has executed an agreement with its partner Shanghai Decent Investment to acquire a 70 per cent equity interest in the Oracle nickel project in central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) has entered into an exclusive commercial distribution agreement with NUCLIBER for its prostate cancer investigational imaging product, Illuccix.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 90 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 17 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 76 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 85 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Communication Services, up 2.2 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains was Utilities, up 0.2 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), closing 10.9 per cent higher at $5.29. It was followed by shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) and Kogan.com (ASX:KGN).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF), closing 4 per cent lower at $4.79. It was followed by shares in PolyNovo (ASX:PNV) and Orora (ASX:ORA).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 1.3 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 0.1 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.9 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1789.46 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 2.4 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.25 lower at US$71.80 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.29 US cents.

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