- ASX 200 closed today’s trade merely 3.30 points up at 7,148.90 points.
- Materials supported gains against the pulldown from financials and utilities.
- Incitec Pivot, Imugene, and Elders were some newsmakers of the day.
Starting the week in the green zone post an exciting election weekend, the benchmark index ASX 200 closed merely 3.30 points up, to 7,148.90 today. Over the last five days, the index has gained only 0.79%. While the elections made Anthony Albanese victorious on Saturday, giving Australia's Labor Party power, the Australian dollar witnessed an upside push. Markets gained as Albanese was sworn in as the nation’s 31st prime minister.
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Sectoral performance, gains, and declines
Despite a weaker investor sentiment in Asia, Australian stocks closed Monday's trade slightly higher.
Six sectors closed trade in green following the broader ASX 200 Index. Materials remained the best performer, gaining about 0.97%. The top losers were utilities and financials, losing 0.64% and 0.52% on the flipside. The top 50 stocks based on market cap shown by ASX 50 Index (XFL) were also down 0.001%. The volatility indicator A-VIX dropped 4.26%, and the All-Ordinaries index closed 0.11% higher.
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Codan from the technologies sector gained maximum from today’s trade, followed by biotech company Imugene. On the losing side, Polynovo (ASX:PNV) from the healthcare sector slipped the most, followed by Novonix Limited (ASX:NVX) , the battery materials and technology company.
Shares that grabbed investor’s attention today
- Codan (ASX:CDA) reported an expectation of hitting a record FY22 first-half profit of AU$50 million. The Company also affirmed FY22 to be its Minelab business's second-best year.
- Elders (ASX:ELD) also reported an upgraded earnings guidance. The agribusiness outperformed its FY21 performance in all products and geographies. The Company has upgraded its full-year underlying EBIT guidance and expects to benefit from a positive winter cropping outlook.
- Top miners Fortescue (ASX:FMG), BHP Group Limited (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) gained from a spike in iron ore prices.
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On the global markets side
Asian stocks were, in general, bogged down by persistent inflation and interest rate hike worries. The Chinese coronavirus resurgence and the chances of going in for another lockdown took the Hang Seng and CSI300 Index down. US markets also posted negligible gains on Friday's close.
On the commodities front
Fears of an economic slowdown and uncertainty regarding the Russia-Ukraine war have elevated commodity prices. To add on is the supply chain disruption caused by the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in China. Oil was higher, buoyed by higher demand from the US. The US demand is high as its peak driving season is likely to kick in by May end and continue till September.