ASX gains, Afterpay & Zip plummet, Sonic falls on US purchase: ASX up 0.5% at noon

Market Reports

by Lauren Evans

The Australian sharemarket opened higher this morning thanks to gains in the mining, energy and banking sectors. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.5 per cent or 38.8 points higher at 7334.5. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 45 points.

Across the sectors, 8 out of 11 are in the green. Energy is performing the best, up 1.7 per cent, followed by materials, up 1.5 per cent, then financials, up 1.1 per cent. Meanwhile, technology is weighing on the market, down 3.5 per cent. 

Gold miners are in spotlight, with Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) up 4.8 per cent, Northern Star (ASX:NST) up 5.1 per cent and St Barbara (ASX:SBM) up 5.2 per cent. Heavyweight miners are also higher as iron ore prices lift. BHP (ASX:BHP) is leading, up 1.5 per cent. 

Energy stocks are making gains, with Woodside petroleum (ASX:WPL) up 1.7 per cent, Santos (ASX:STO) up 1.6 per cent, Ampol (ASX:ALD) up 3.6 per cent and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) up 3.7 per cent.

Major banks are lifting, despite Macquarie (ASX:MQG) falling 0.4 per cent. Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) is leading the pack, up 2 per cent. 

Tech stocks are tumbling, following a fall in US tech stocks. Buy now, pay later giants Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) are down 7.7 and 7.6 per cent. Meanwhile payment software Xero (ASX:XRO) is down 4.8 per cent and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) is down 3.8 per cent amid techs fall. 

In headlines, Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) is down 1 per cent following the US acquisition of ProPath. Healius (ASX:HLS), another healthcare company, is down 1.1 per cent, following a $301.3 million deal to acquire Agilex Biolabs. 

IPOs

SHAPE Australia Corporation (ASX:SHA) has listed on the ASX today. Their shares issued at $1.96, started trading at $2.05 and are currently at $1.98.

IPD Group (ASX:IPG) has listed on the ASX today. Their shares issued at $1.20, started trading at $1.045 and are currently at $1.075.

Company news

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Medical laboratory company Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) has acquired US pathology company ProPath, based in Texas.

Healthcare company Healius (ASX:HLS) is set to acquire bioanalytical laboratory Agilex Biolabs for an enterprise value of $301.3 million.

Roads developer Transurban (ASX:TCL) has reached an agreement with the Victorian Government and its subcontractor, with costs adjustments for the West Gate Tunnel Project. 

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, up 1.7 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 3.5 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK), trading 5.25 per cent higher at $3.10. It is followed by shares in St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Domain Holdings Australia (ASX:DHG), trading 7.5 per cent lower at $5.22. It is followed by shares in Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Life360 Inc. (ASX:360).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1798.08 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.6 per cent higher at US$114.70 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.16 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.81 US cents.

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