- Australian benchmark index, the ASX 200, snapped a two-session losing streak and ended higher.
- Seven of the 11 sectors ended lower, while the material and energy space gained the most.
- InvoCare topped the gainers’ list, while software firm Altium emerged as the top laggard.
- Asian share markets traded higher on firm cues from Wall Street.
- In the crypto space, Bitcoin and Ethereum witnessed correction amidst overbought conditions.
The Australian share market ended higher in choppy trade on Monday, snapping a two-session losing streak, led by gains in blue-chip, mining and energy stocks. Market sentiments were lifted by strong corporate earnings and firm global cues. Investors also cheered the USE Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comment that the Central Bank won’t be in a hurry to raise interest rates.
The ASX 200 closed 16.20 points or 0.22% higher at 7,504.50. During the day’s trade, the index gained as much as 0.5% to hit an intraday high of 7,528.30.
The market breadth, indicating the overall strength of the market, was weak as seven of the 11 sectors ended in red. The material sector emerged as the best performer with a 3% gain, followed by energy, which rose 1.1%. Among others, consumer stapled and A-REIT also ended with modest gains.
Meanwhile, consumer discretionary was the worst performer with a 0.9% loss. Among others, utilities, financial, information technology, health care, industrial and telecom also settled lower.
Top gainers and losers
Among individual stocks, InvoCare (ASX: IVC), which operates funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria, topped the gainers’ list by rising 8.3%. Some of the other top performers were health care firm, Polynovo (ASX:PNV), iron ore miner, Fortescue Metal (ASX: FMG), miner South32 (ASX:S32) and gold miner Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS).
On the flip side, software firm Altium (ASX:ALU) was the top laggard with a 14% loss. Some of the other worst performers were tech firm Nuix (ASX:NXL), superannuation business HUB24 (ASX: HUB), health care firm Healius (ASX: HLS), and energy company AGL Energy (ASX:AGL).
Asian markets trade higher
Asian markets were trading higher on Monday, following firm cues from Wall Street, as investors cheered US Federal Chairman Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. Powell said the central bank wouldn’t be in a hurry to raise interest rates, but he reiterated that the bank would start tapering economic stimulus later this year.
Indonesia’s Jakarta Stock Exchange was the worst performer in the regional market with a 1.2% gain. It was followed by Thailand’s SET Composite, which rose over 1%.
In a similar trend, the Straits Times Index in Singapore gained 0.8%, while Japan’s Nikkei climbed 0.4%. South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.3% and Taiwan’s Weighted Index rose 0.6%. India’s BSE Sensex surged 0.9% in opening deals.
Moving to the US now, Wall Street closed on a strong note on Friday after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would start tapering economic stimulus later that year. He also downplayed inflation concerns, saying that there was no need to over-react. The S&P 500 ended 0.88% higher, the Dow Jones added 0.69%. The tech-savvy NASDAQ Composite gained 1.23%.
Bitcoin, Ether edge lower amidst overbought conditions
Cryptocurrencies were trading mostly lower during the Asian trading on Monday as investors digested the US Fed’s Chairman Jerome Powell comment on tapering of economic stimulus and rate hike. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) witnessed correction amidst overbought conditions.
The price of Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, slipped nearly 1% to trade around US$47,900 levels.
Ether, the world’s second-largest crypto, also edged lower, quoting around US$3,200 level.
Meanwhile, Cardano, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, rose nearly 2% to US$2.82.
Among others, Dogecoin, Stellar, Uniswap and Lotecoin also edged lower in subdued trade.