ASX 200 today: Will miners, banks keep Australian shares higher?

Summary

  • The Australian equity benchmark ASX 200 on Wednesday opened marginally lower after the US stocks closed mixed overnight.

  •  

      The tech-heavy NASDAQ fell 1.88%, marking its biggest single-day decline in six weeks.

  • The Australian dollar was trading higher by 0.09% to 0.772.               

The Australian equity benchmark ASX 200 on Wednesday opened marginally lower after the US stocks closed mixed overnight. The ASX 200 opened down 1.30 points to 7,066.60. However, the index soon recovered and gained 11.10 points. The index was supported by the heavyweight miners and banks, while losses in tech companies tracking overnight Wall Street losses capped gains. Over the last five days, the index is virtually unchanged, but was currently 0.25% below its 52-week high.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy NASDAQ fell 1.88%, marking its biggest single-day decline in six weeks.  The S&P 500 fell 0.7%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average settled higher 0.1%.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note fell to a low of 1.557%. Signs that the US Fed remains in no rush to reel in its massive stimulus programs kept 10-year US Treasury yields slightly under pressure.

READ MORE: Three ASX shares that are trading at a bargain

Source: © Stbernardstudio   | Megapixl.com

Gainers and losers

Australian tech stocks tracked losses on NASDAQ and fell nearly 2%, with heavyweight buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay (ASX:APT) and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) dropped 3.6% and 2.5%, respectively.

Banks were the top boosts to the benchmark, advancing as much as 0.7% to hit their highest since February last year. Miners traded 0.2% lower after gaining about 0.4% earlier in the session, with gold miners being the biggest drags after bullion prices fell more than 1% overnight.

Gold miners were down 1.8%. Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index NZ50 fell as much as 1% to 12,787.44.

Australian dollar inches up

The Australian dollar was trading higher by 0.09% to 0.772. The US dollar index rose 0.337%. The Australian dollar is a commodities currency.

READ MORE: Why investing in gold stocks can add feather to your portfolio cap

Gold prices fall

Gold fell almost 1% after the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen said interest rates may need to rise. The US gold Futures last traded at US$1,776 an ounce, falling 0.9%. Australian gold miners might take a hit due to falling gold prices. Shares of Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) fell 1% and 2.8%, respectively.

Source: © Paultama   | Megapixl.com

Crude oil prices edge higher

The crude oil prices surged after more US states eased covid pandemic-related restrictions and the European Union sought to focus on tourism. Brent crude Futures settled US$1.32 up, at US$68.88 a barrel, while WTI crude Futures rose US$1.20 to close at US$65.69 a barrel. Oil stocks such as Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL), Oil Search Ltd (ASX:OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) traded higher as much as 1.3%.

Bitcoin trades lower

Bitcoin traded lower by 2.16% to US$55,108.25.  Ether was trading up 1.58% to US$3,309.12.

Newsmakers

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX:ANZ) announced that its cash profit from continuing operations more than doubled to AU$2.99 billion in the half year ended 31 March 2021, compared with AU$1.41 billion a year ago.  

Amcor (ASX:AMC) has upgraded its earnings growth forecasts for financial year 2021. The company’s GAAP net income for the quarter rose 58% to US$684 million.

Medibank Private Ltd (ASX:MPL) upgraded its growth outlook, saying it was hoping to achieve total policyholder growth of 3.5 to 4% for financial year 2021, as against earlier growth forecast in excess of 3%.

Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) subsidiary Incitec Fertilisers has signed a 20-year off-take agreement with Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd.

Plenti Group's (ASX:PLT) warehouse funding facility for renewable energy and personal lending purposes has been increased to AU$200 million from AU$100 million.

READ MORE: Is 2021 going to be a sparkling year for aluminium?

Healius (ASX:HLS) said its non-COVID revenue has grown during the second half of financial year 2021. The company’s pathology coronavirus testing reached 3 million total COVID tests during the March quarter.

Pengana Capital Group (ASX:PCG) has awarded the management of two global equities strategies to Axiom Investors.


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