ASX ends 0.5% high on tech, miner boost; Iress, BHP, Rio surge

Summary 

  • The ASX 200added 38.10 points or 0.52% to settle at 7,417.40. 
  • The market sentiments were lifted after the US Fed kept interest rates near zero.
  • Mining stocks rallied after Rio Tinto reported strong earnings and announced bumper dividend.

Australian shares ended higher on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve indicated that it was in no hurry to taper stimulus. The market sustained up move on the back of solid gains in tech and material stocks. The equity market was up despite rise in COVID-19 cases as investors seemed to have shifted focus to corporate earnings reports.  

The ASX 200 added 38.10 points or 0.52% to settle at 7,417.40. Earlier today, the index opened higher, driven by strong rally in blue-chip miners BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals. While slump in property and utilities stocks restricted market’s gains.

The market breadth, indicating the market's overall strength, was strong with seven of the 11 sectoral indices ending in green.

                 

The Last Trade || ASX Ends 0.5% Higher; BHP, Rio, Ires Surge

 

The information technology index was the best performer with 2.7% gain, tracking a slight rise in Nasdaq overnight. In the IT space, software firms IRESS, Nuix, Altium were among top losers. Buy Now Pay Later firms Afterpay, Zip and Sezzle also ended in green.  

The material index rallied 1.5%, led by index heavyweights BHP Group (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), which hit their respective highs.

Among others, telecom, health care, consumer discretionary and energy also ended in positive territory with modest gain.

A-REIT emerged as the top laggard, closing 1.3% lower. Among others, utilities, consumer staples and financial ended in red zone.

Among the individual stocks, fintech firm IRESS Limited (ASX:IRE) led the gainers list, jumping 13.4%, after the company rejected an AU$2.96 billion bid from a private equity firm.

On the losing side, global online marketplace Redbubble (ASX: RBL) topped the chart with 3.4% loss.

Newsmakers

Image source: koonsiri boonnak, Shutterstock.com

Shares of cybersecurity services provider Tesserent Limited (ASX:TNT) gained as much as 9% today. The Company has reported operating EBITDA of AU$3.8 million in June quarter, up 125.5% from the previous quarter on the back of strong sales growth during the period. The turnover has risen 81.4% to AU$38.2 million as compared to the previous quarter.

Shares of financial services provider The Agency Group Australia Ltd (ASX:AU1) have rallied 34.5% on robust earning outlook. The company expects its unaudited EBITDA for FY21 to exceed AU$4 million, a near seven-fold jump from last year's AU$700,000. It also reported combined group revenue of AU$16 million for the fourth quarter, up 74% from last year.

Shares of Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL) gained nearly 9% intraday on strong production outlook for FY22. The Company expects FY22 gold output between 460,000 to 515,000 ounces (oz), much higher than 372,870 oz reported for FY21.

Shares of Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) hit 52-week high after world's fourth-largest iron ore miner reported record quarterly iron ore shipments. The Company posted record quarterly iron ore shipment of 49.3 million tonnes (Mt) up from 47.3 Mt a year ago.

Carbine Resources Limited (ASX:CRB) saw its share  surging over 5% after the mineral explorer provided an update on its Muchea West Silica Sands Project.

Shares of Volpara Health Technologies (ASX:VHT) rose 3% after the health technology software firm received FDA clearance for its Volpara Imaging Software. The US regulator has given nod to the latest version of its key science algorithm, Volpara Imaging Software (VIS 3.2).

Shares of metals and mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) hit record high after the company reported strong earnings and announced to pay AU$9.1 billion in dividends. The global miner posted strong profit for the half year ended June 30, 2021, on the back of strong iron ore prices aided by Chinese demand.

Shares of Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) rose 0.7% AU$1.42 after it rejected a takeover bid from Wesfarmers calling it “opportunistic”. Reacting to the news, Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) ended lower.

Shares of software firm Iress (ASX: IRE) were among top gainers on ASX pack after it rejected a takeover bid from EQT Fund Management. The company’s board declined the offer, saying that it did not represent compelling value for its shareholders.

Asian markets stay on firm footing

The Asian markets were trading mostly higher on Thursday, reversing previous session losses, after the US Federal Reserve statements.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was the top performer in the region, surging 2.75%, driven by rebound in Chinese tech stocks. Recently, Chinese stocks listed in Hong Kong witnessed selling pressure after Beijing’s crackdowns on the tech, property and education sectors.

China’s Shanghai Composite was also trading higher over 1%. Japan’s Nikkei was trading higher with 0.7% gain. India’s BSE Sensex rose by 0.5% in opening deals.

In a similar trend, Taiwan Weighted Index rose 1.2%, while Straits Times in Singapore traded higher by 0.5%.  

Meanwhile, in the overnight trade on Wednesday, US stocks ended on mixed note. The Dow Jones fell 0.36%, while the S&P 500 ended marginally lower. The tech-savvy NASDAQ closed with 0.7% gain.

Bitcoin, Ether edge higher

All the major cryptocurrencies were trading in green during Asian trading hours on Thursday. The crypto market witnessed improvement in sentiment over the past week following slew of positive developments.

While Bitcoin was trading near US$40K mark, Ethereum was trading above US$2,200. The world's largest cryptocurrency briefly surpassed the US$40K level in the last 24 hours of trade.   

The world’s second-largest crypto, Ethereum, was up 0.5%, while XRP rallied over 10 per cent. 

However, other digital currencies such as Cardano and Dogecoin were trading in red.

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