Local markets hang onto early gains, led by tech and gold names

Market Reports

by Manny Anton

Local markets opened in positive territory and held onto early gains for the remainder of the trading day. The S&P/ASX 200 finished the day 0.45 per cent higher, underpinned by the gold sector and interest rate sensitive sectors such as IT and property.

Gold, IT and property were the best-performing sectors on the day, with all sectors closing in the green.

The gold price continued its rally overnight to break through the US$2300 level for the first time ever. Local gold producers Evolution (ASX:EVN) and Northern Star (ASX:NST) were up 1.1 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.

The interest rate sensitive IT sector recovered from yesterday’s sell off, closing up 0.42 per for the day, with WiseTech (ASX:WTC) closing up close to 2.5 per cent.

In economic news, building approvals surprised on the downside by falling 1.9 per cent month-on-month in February, versus the market’s expectations for a 3 per cent gain month-on-month.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.45 per cent higher at 7,817.30.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 51 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 11.25 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 50.5 points.
The SPI futures are up 37 points.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the black. The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 1.18 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains was Consumer Staples, up 0.10 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was South32 (ASX:S32), closing 4.62 per cent higher at $3.17. It was followed by shares in Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and Pro Medicus (ASX:PME).

The worst-performing large cap was Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ), closing 1.79 per cent lower at $5.48. It was followed by shares in CAR Group (ASX:CAR) and Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG).

Asian markets

Japan's Nikkei has gained 0.89 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng has lost 1.22 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite has gained 0.23 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,317.60 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.9 per cent lower at US$99.25 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 2.5 per cent fall.
Light crude is trading $0.24 higher at US$85.67 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.63 US cents.

Manny Anton

Sequoia Financial Group
Manny has over 30 years’ experience in financial markets, banking and corporate advisory. He previously worked at UBS, Credit Suisse and RBC, covering equities and equity derivatives, both domestically and internationally, based in London, Hong Kong and Sydney. Manny has also worked with corporates in IR and development in the energy and resources sectors.

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