Broad-based gains & fading fears of Omicron push ASX 200 1% higher

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  • The ASX 200 ended up today, gaining 91.50 points or 1.25%, hitting 7,405.40.
  • The gains were broad-based, but strongest in iron ore miners, communications, and information technology.
  • Asian and US markets recovered as fears of Omicron fade.

Well, it’s been an exciting day for Aussies. Besides all the stock market enthusiasm, the Ashes, perhaps the most followed Test series in international cricket, is being played on Australian soil this year. Australia are the current champions as they managed to defend the urn in The Ashes 2019.

While we witness a total of 5 test matches in the coming days, lets discover all the latest market action from the local bourse and beyond.

It seems to be a good week for the local market so far, especially after RBA governor Philip Lowe stated yesterday that Omicron might not derail Australian recovery. The economy remains poised to be back on the pre-Delta path in the first half of 2022.

Broad-based gains & fading fears of Omicron push ASX 200 1% higher

Global equity markets rose today, and oil prices leapt, thanks to news that Omicron will not cause much economic damage. Another boost was the Chinese stimulus that further sparked the rally.

The ASX 200 ended up today, gaining 91.50 points or 1.25 per cent to 7,405.40 and crossing above its 125-day moving average. Over the last five days, the index has gained 2.34 per cent and is currently 2.98 per cent off of its 52-week high.

On the sectoral front, all 11 sectors ended higher. Materials was the best performing sector, gaining 2.52 per cent and 2.25 per cent for the past five days.

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Who won? Who lost?

The best performer today was Zip Co (ASX:Z1P), up 11 per cent after releasing its monthly update yesterday. Following suit was Mesoblast (ASX:MSB), up 10 per cent. Other top gainers of the day were Champion Iron (ASX:CIA), (ASX:KGN) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN).

On the red zone, Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF) topped the charts, down 3.5 per cent. Polynovo (ASX:PNV) plummeted 2.3 per cent. Other laggards today were Orora Limited (ASX:ORA), Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

On the new listings front, the bourse welcomed Orange Minerals (ASX:OMX) today. The Company has gold and base metal exploration assets in Lachlan Fold Belt of NSW and Eastern Gold Fields, Western Australia. It has plans to conduct exploration drilling at three projects between now and H1/2022, targeting a maiden Resource at Calarie early 2022.

Asian & global market

Asian stocks opened higher today. The sentiment was largely propelled after tech shares led US equities to witness their biggest rally in months. Investors now bet that the uncertain Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus won’t put off ongoing global recovery.

Japan's Topix index grew 0.6 per cent, Kospi climbed 1.1 per cent, Hang Seng remained steady, and the Shanghai Composite Index was little altered. MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose by 0.44 per cent.

Beyond Asia, the S&P 500 ended the overnight session 2.1 per cent higher, the Dow Jones added 1.4 per cent and the Nasdaq soared by 3 per cent.

Crypto market performance

Cryptocurrencies continue to recover from last weekend’s massive sell-off. Ethereum scaling solution Polygon was notably one of the largest gainers. MATIC, the native token of the Polygon blockchain, rose from USD 1.79 on Monday morning to USD 2.50 over the subsequent 24 hours, a nearly 40 per cent gain.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, Bitcoin too rose following gains in the traditional market with prices hovering above the USD 50,000 level. Sentiment seems to be positive, thanks to growing optimism that the new omicron coronavirus variant would be less damaging to the economy than previously thought.

Some market experts suggest that Bitcoin is attempting to reverse its weekend sell-off, although upside appears limited.



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