Tech names stage big rally after Fed outcome, ASX 24 outage: ASX up 1.1% at noon

Market Reports

by Melissa Darmawan

Technical difficulties on the ASX has put trading for futures and options on hold after Wall St closed higher for its second straight day. Investors reacted to the Fed’s latest interest rate outcome and to the local job numbers which shows a tight labour market, sending the local bourse higher.

Difference between ASX 24 & ASX 200

All trades executed after 9.43am AEDT are currently under investigation on the ASX 24 as the market operator attempts to get the trading system online.

The ASX 24 is different from the ASX 200 as it allows investors to trade futures and options for equities, agriculture, energy, and interest rates versus trading shares in companies. The market operator said it will give investors 20 minutes notice when a decision to resume trade is announced around the ASX 24.

Tech shares jump over 4%, nickel miners rally

Meanwhile, Aussie shares are off to a strong start lifted by information tech’s rally, leading the pack by 4.4 per cent. Consumer staples and energy have eased back by 0.6 and 0.2 per cent respectively with almost a broad-based rally.

Strong gains in both materials and financial sectors have also buoyed the market amid a surge in treasury yields and China’s panel showing solidarity on providing support to the economy and also the sharemarket.

Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is leading the gains, up 1.9 per cent at $192.96 while Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) is up almost 4 per cent at $18.09 in the miners circle.

In company news, surging demand prompted James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) to be on the lookout for more land to continue with its expansion. The global building giant unveiled its plans to scoop up land in Victoria amid growing demand, increasing its portfolio with a fourth manufacturing site within its Asia Pacific network. Production from the Melbourne site is expected to start with one sheet machine by April 2025 with the aim to have two. Shares are trading 3.5 per cent higher at $46.99.

After the short-lived trade for nickel on the London Metal Exchange, Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) surged 6.9 per cent to $1.28, while Poseidon Nickels (ASX:POS) jumped 8.1 per cent to 9.4 cents after being a beneficiary of the Federal Government’s latest initiative. The miner unveiled its $119.6 million grant with partnership with Pure Battery Technologies from the Australian Government to develop its proposed battery material refinery hub.

AUD breaks above 73 cents on strong jobs data

The Australian dollar broke above 73 US cents after the nation added 77,439 jobs more than the 37,000 expected, rising for its fourth month in a row. The jobless rate improved to 4 per cent in February from 4.2 per cent the month before, coming in better than expected while the participation rate rose to 66.4 per cent, a new record high since March 2021, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

US stock futures ticked higher in Asian trade while Japan’s Nikkei is off to a strong start, up 3.5 per cent, tracking the global rally amid an easing in oil prices.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.1 per cent or 81.2 points higher at 7,256.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 121 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is information technology, up 4.4 per cent. The worst-performing sector is consumer staples, down 0.6 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), trading 12.6 per cent higher at $1.61. It is followed by shares in PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH) and Block (ASX:SQ2).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is GrainCorp (ASX:GNC), trading 4.37 per cent lower at $8.31. It is followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and InvoCare (ASX:IVC).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1926.89 an ounce.
Iron ore is 7.3 per cent higher at US$145.45 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.81 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.16 US cents.

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