The Aussie sharemarket is on track to close higher after advancing in the early trade, following a strong lead from Wall Street. All sectors are in positive territory, led by the tech space, while materials are shedding the least as quarterly updates continue. In the winner’s corner are communication services, consumer staples, real estate and energy stocks.
The top performer is Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX)
, trading 9 per cent higher at $4.60, while ResMed (ASX:RMD)
is weighing on the healthcare space after reporting on its March quarter. ResMed increased its revenue by 12 per cent during the quarter, driven by strong demand in its sleep and respiratory care segment. However, its gross margin decreased by 140 basis points mainly due to higher freight and manufacturing costs, partially offset by favourable product changes and increased selling prices. ResMed is the worst performer, with shares tumbling 5.8 per cent to $28.62.
Tech stocks are soaring after US tech shares rallied overnight. Life360 (ASX:360)
is leading the tech space, up 6.6 per cent to $4.06, although no company news has been released today.
Online betting giant PointsBet (ASX:PBH)
has jumped 9 per cent to $2.97 as the second best-stock, following a quarterly update that saw a 54 per cent increase in turnover. Meanwhile, property portal Domain Holdings (ASX:DHG)
is up 3.8 per cent to $3.55 after announcing the completed acquisition of marketing agency Realbase.
Energy stocks are looking ahead, with Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL)
up 1 per cent to $31.20 and Santos (ASX:STO)
up 0.9 per cent to $7.97. Origin Energy (ASX:ORG)
reported on its March quarter, which saw its Australia Pacific LNG business increase its revenue by 15 per cent, while financial year to date revenue increased 104 per cent, driven by higher oil and gas prices. Shares are trading 2.4 per cent higher at $6.87.
Major banks are ahead, led by Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG)
, which is trading 1.7 per cent higher at $206.66, while Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA)
is shedding the least, trading 0.3 per cent higher at $103.55.
Gold stocks are doing well, led by Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN)
, which is trading 2.3 per cent higher at $4.09. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM)
is up 1.5 per cent to $27.11 and Northern Star (ASX:NST)
is trading 1.1 per cent higher at $9.86.
Iron ore miners are struggling amid China’s surge in Covid-19 cases. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO)
is down 0.4 per cent to $112.36 and BHP (ASX:BHP)
is flat at $47.99, while Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG)
is edging 0.5 per cent higher after raising its guidance for annual exports yesterday.
At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.8 per cent or 57.3 points higher at 7414.2.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 59 points.Local economic news
Inflation data: Producer prices for the March quarter rose 1.6 per cent, and jumped 4.9 per cent over the past twelve months, driven by construction materials, crude oil and skilled trade shortages, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.What else to look out for?
Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC)
posted a 59 per cent drop in profit after tax during the March quarter as Covid-related issues and higher operating costs continued to impact the healthcare system. However, its revenue lifted 5.7 per cent during the quarter as activity levels started to improve after elective surgery restrictions were lifted in Australia. Shares are down 0.6 per cent to $81.07.
Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC)
reported a 14 per cent increase in sales during the nine months to March 31 after it increased prices in all regions to offset cost pressures. However, its adjusted EBITDA fell 4 per cent from the prior year period as the company dealt with higher inflation, particularly in copper and steel, as well as shipping pressures and rising energy costs. Shares are trading 1.9 per cent higher at $4.08.
Quarterly and earning updates are also on the docket for IGO (ASX:IGO)
, with shares up 0.4 per cent to $13.36, and Oceanagold (ASX:OGC)
, with shares up 8.2 per cent to $3.44.
A couple of broker ratings, CLSA has downgraded ASX (ASX:ASX)
to underperform, with shares up 1.5 per cent to $86.05, while Morgan Stanley reinstated Domino’s Pizza (ASX:DMP)
to overweight with a price target of $100, with shares down 1.5 per cent to $77.36.
Charter Hall (ASX:CHC)
is in the box seat for a $2.1 billion deal for Melbourne’s Southern Cross Towers, according to The Australian. Shares are trading 1.3 per cent higher at $15.66.Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is information technology, up over 2 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains is materials, up 0.4 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX)
, trading 9.0 per cent higher at $4.60. It is followed by shares in PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH)
and Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN)
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is ResMed (ASX:RMD)
, trading 5.1 per cent lower at $28.84. It is followed by shares in Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR)
and Domino Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP)
.Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1904.56 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.1 per cent higher at US$142.00 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.31 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.34 US cents.