- The ASX 200 was trading higher by 31.60 points or 0.43% at 7,301.80 by the afternoon.
- Nine of 11 sectors were trading higher, with A-REIT, tech and healthcare stocks gaining the most.
- Fintech company IRESS and medical equipment firm ResMed Inc were top gainers on the ASX.
- Bitcoin jumped nearly 16% after El Salvador officially adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender.
Australian shares trades higher by Thursday afternoon, paring early losses, led by strong gains in realty, tech and healthcare stocks. The market witnessed cautious trading ahead of the US inflation data due tonight for more clarity on the Fed's policy outlook.
The ASX 200 is trading higher by 31.60 points or 0.43% at 7301.80. Earlier today, the index opened marginally lower, down by 4.60 points to 7,265.60, after the subdued overnight trade on Wall Street.
During the day’s trade so far, the index rose as much as 0.45% to hit a high of 7,307.08. Over the last five sessions, the index has gained 0.57% and is currently 0.45% off of its 52-week high.
On the sectoral front, nine of the 11 sectors were trading higher, with A-REIT gaining the most, rising as much as 1.92%. Other sectors that were trading higher include Information Technology, Industrials, Consumer Discretionary, Healthcare and Telecommunications Services.
Bucking the trend, Energy was the worst performer on the ASX with 0.58% loss. It was followed by Materials, which is down 0.38%.
Top Gainers and Losers
Australia-based fintech company IRESS Ltd. (ASX:IRE) is the top percentage gainer on the ASX, rising 9.13% to AU$11.95. Some of other top gainers are ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD), Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW), Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX:WHC) and EML Payments Limited (ASX:EML).
On the other hand, Monadelphous Group Ltd. (ASX:MND), Worley Limited (ASX:WOR), Corporate Travel Management Ltd. (ASX:CTD), Kogan.com Ltd. (ASX:KGN) and Reece Limited (ASX:REH) are among top laggards.
Shares in News
The share price of Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) drops 0.86% to AU$2.30 after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) initiated civil penalty proceedings against the company and its former CEO David Singleton in the Federal Court of Australia. The ASIC is seeking civil declarations that Austal contravened its continuous disclosure obligations as well as the relevant misleading and deceptive conduct provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 and the ASIC Act 2001. The proceeding alleged that Austal was aware as early as 4 June 2016 of the need to make a material write back of work in progress attributable to the LCS Program. ASB made its announcement notifying of the write back on 4 July 2016. Also, Singleton has been alleged that he was involved in the company’s contravention of its continuous disclosure obligations and failed to discharge his duty.
Shares of rare-earth minerals miner American Rare Earths (ASX:ARR) gained as much as 6.2% to 8.6 Australian cents on the buying scandium mineral rights from Zenith. The company has acquired scandium mineral rights over the Split Rocks Project in WA from Zenith Minerals Limited (ASX:ZNC). As per the term sheet, Zenith has agreed to grant ARR an exclusive option to acquire scandium minerals to a maximum depth of 50m from the surface within a portion of its Split Rocks Project.
Cloud and software business firm DC Two Limited (ASX:DC2) has issued an update on its DC Modular Collie Project, whereby a number of positive developments have been achieved, which take the project closer to potential future commercialisation. Following the announcement, shares of DC Two is trading 1.6% lower at 29.5 Australian cents.
Rafaella Resources Ltd (ASX:RFR) has announced that the McCleery property had received funding under the 2021 Yukon Mineral Exploration Program (YMEP) administered by the Yukon Geological Survey. It has also received a Class 1 permit approval in order to start this field season exploration activities. The shares of Rafaella Resources is down 2% at 9.5 Australian cents.
Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI) has acquired a 14-level, AU$224 million office building in Footscray, Victoria, for a new unlisted fixed term single-asset fund, Centuria Government Income Property Fund (CGIPF). CGIPF will seek to raise AU$133 million, which is Australia’s largest single-asset retail capital raise in the past 15 years. Boosted by the development, shares of Centuria Capital rises 0.4% to AU$2.70.
ECS Botanics Holdings Ltd (ASX:ECS) shares fall 2.27% to 4.3 Australian cents despite reporting strong sales growth. The company, in a filing to the ASX, said that the Victorian facility, which had recently completed its first commercial harvest, had recorded the current quarter sales of AU$0.543 million. Products include medicinal cannabis premium dried flower, biomass, and oils, all manufactured from the cannabis cultivated at the facility. Besides, the company expects the sales of its cannabis products to reach AU$2 million by the end of CY2021, driven by new customer contracts and an increasing demand for Australian grown medicinal cannabis products.
Shares of Johns Lyng Group Limited (ASX:JLG) gained as much as 5.3% to AU$4.40, their biggest intraday percentage gain since 28 April, after the company upgrade its FY21 revenue and EBITDA guidance. This was driven by improvement in its core business-as-usual (BaU) services and a significant recovery in its operations, primarily in northern NSW and south-east Queensland. The building services provider has upgraded its FY21 EBITDA to AU$52.1 million, a 10% rise from its prior outlook of AU$47.4 million for the same period. The company sees FY21 revenue to be AU$558.2 million, compared with its earlier AU$524.1 million expectations.
The share price of Advanced Human Imaging (ASX:AHI) jumped as much as 4.8% to AU$1.32, snapping the streak of three consecutive sessions of losses. The body scanning app maker said it had signed a binding term sheet with Toronto-based Digital Health provider Cubert Inc, which developed FitTrack. Cubert's application FitTrack is a preventative health screening app. As per the company, the integrated technology will be called FitScan, which will enable the users to assess wellness and help know the potential health risks.
Asian Markets Trades Higher
Asian markets trade higher with marginal gains in opening deals, barring China, following subdued cues from Wall Street, which closed on a mixed note in overnight trade. Investors remained cautious ahead of the data release on the inflation and job claims, slated to be released tonight.
The Mainland Chinese stocks are trading lower with the Shanghai Composite dropping by 0.1%, and the Shenzhen component falling by 0.02%. Investors reacted to China’s factory-gate prices, which hit a 12-year high in May, driven by a spike in commodity prices. The producer price index (PPI), which indicates the prices that factories charge wholesalers for their products, spiked 9% in May. Meanwhile, the consumer price index (CPI), a measure of retail inflation, climbed to 1.3% in May, up from 0.9% in April. The rise in prices raised concerns that inflationary pressures could spread globally and force central banks to tighten monetary policy, derailing global recovery.
Japan's Nikkei surges 0.4%, Seoul's Kospi trades higher by 0.32%, while Taiwan’s Weighted Index gains 0.40%. Also, the Straits Times index in Singapore climbs 0.20%.
In the overnight trade on Wednesday, the Dow Jones fell 0.4%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.2%, and the NASDAQ slipped 0.1% lower in the overnight trade.
Crypto Market Rallies As El Salvador Adopts Bitcoin as Legal Tender
The cryptocurrency market witnessed a surge in buying with all the major coins, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and XRP, flashing in green. The market sentiment got a boost after El Salvador officially adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender after Congress gave nod to President Nayib Bukele’s proposal to embrace the digital coin. With this, the Central American nation become the first country to in the world to officially adopt Bitcoin as a legal currency.
Reacting to the news, the price of Bitcoin jumped as much as 15.75% in the past 24 hours’ trade. The world’s largest cryptocurrency moved from a low of US$32,437.09 to hit an intraday high of US$37,609.46, registering a growth of 15.75%. Paring some of losses, the world’s largest cryptocurrency was trading around US$37,343, up 12.7%, at the time of reporting.
In a similar trend, Ether, the second-largest crypto, trades higher by 4% at US$2,587.76, and XRP surges 5.5% to 91.49 US cents. The meme currency, Dogecoin, also trades higher by 5.87% to 33.93 US cents.
The decision of El Salvador’s government to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender has lifted market sentiment, which was dampened by China’s continued pressure to tighten its regulation of cryptocurrencies. China’s Qinghai province, the coal-based crypto mining hub, has imposed a ban on virtual currency mining operations, as per a government order issued on Wednesday.