ASX 200 opens flat; why is the benchmark index under pressure today?

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  • The ASX 200 on Friday opened flat even after US stocks closed mostly higher overnight.
  • Origin Energy (ASX: ORG), Mineral Resource (ASX: MIN) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC) were top losers.
  • 7 of 11 sectors were trading in green, while Information Technology was the top performing sector.

The ASX 200 on Friday opened on flat note, undermining positive cues from the US stock market, which closed higher in overnight trade. The benchmark ASX 200 opened flat at 7,058 and moved up marginally post the opening bell. Paring opening gains, the benchmark index slipped into negative terrain, dropping 5.50 points to 7053.10 as gains in miners and tech stocks were offset by banking shares.

New York city wall street, Source: © Arcoss |

Wall Street ended higher on Thursday as strong earnings and upbeat macro data boosted market sentiments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.9 per cent higher at 34,035.99, crossing 34k level for the first time ever, while S&P 500 gained 1.11 per cent to settle at 4,170.42. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.31 per cent to end at 14038.76.

Read: Dow smashes a milestone by shooting past 34K-mark

According to experts, investors are keeping an eye on corporate earnings announcements and development on COVID-19 cases and vaccine for further trigger.

Gainers and losers

Traders Chasing a Volatile Market, Image Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media Pty Ltd.

Among the top gainers were Perseus Mining (ASX: PRU), Silver Lake Resource (ASX: SLR), and Altium Ltd (ASX: ALU). On the other hand, Origin Energy (ASX: ORG), Mineral Resource (ASX: MIN) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC) were among top laggards.

Sectoral movement

7 of 11 sectors were trading in green. Information Technology was the top performing sector, rising 0.85 per cent. Among others, Utilities, Materials, A-REIT, Consumer Discretionary and Consumer Staplers were notable gainers.

Bond yields fall

The 10-year Australian bond yield fell by 2.39% to 1.672 against previous close of 1.713.

Australian dollar rises

The Australian dollar was trading up by 0.13% to 0.7734. The US dollar index dipped 0.02%.

Gold prices ease

US gold Futures closed 0.8% lower at US$1,765.40 an ounce as the vaccination drive is picking up across the globe.

Crude oil prices fall marginally

The WTI crude Futures dropped 0.19%  to settle at US$63.34 a barrel, while Brent crude Futures settled 0.15% lower at US$66.84 a barrel.

Bitcoin extends rally

Bitcoin continued its rally after the successful launch of cryptocurrency platform Coinbase Global Inc (COIN) on NASDAQ. The cryptocurrency has hit a new record high of U$64,829 (A$85,051).

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