- The benchmark index ASX 200 traded 0.58% higher at 7,105.80 in early morning trade on Friday
- Seven out of 11 sectors were trading in the green, with the IT and Materials sector leading the gains
- The ASX All Ordinaries index was up 0.37% at 7,330.6 points.
Australian equity markets opened higher on Friday (20 May) despite not so encouraging cues from the global market, as IT and mining stocks rebounded strongly. The benchmark index was up 0.58% to trade at 7,105.80 in the initial few minutes of trading on Friday.
Seven of 11 sectors were trading in the green territory today, with the IT stocks leading the gains. The IT sector was up over 3% after taking severe beating earlier in the week while Materials sector jumped nearly 2% as export centric miners are likely expected to be benefitted from higher iron ore prices owing to additional policy support from China.
The other sectors trading in the green today included Utilities, Industrials, Consumer Discretionary, and consumer staples. In contrast, those witnessing losses were health, energy and A-REIT sectors.
The ASX All Ordinaries index was up 0.37% at 7,330.6 points. On Thursday, the benchmark index fell 1.65% to close at 7,064.5 points.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.75% to 31,253.13, while the S&P 500 was down 0.58% to 3,900.79. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ Composite closed the session 0.26% lower at 11,388.50 points.
Coming to the top ASX 200 gainers, Chalice Mining Ltd (ASX:CHN) and Life360 (ASX:360) led the pack with 13.636% and 6.340% gains, respectively. On the flip side, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) and Nufarm Ltd. (ASX:NUF)) were the top losers, falling 9.630% and 3.790%, respectively.
BHP Group Limited (ASX:BHP)
Today, the share price of ASX-listed mining and petroleum company BHP was on investors' radar after the group revealed that the BHP board has decided to pay to the company's shareholders an in specie dividend in the form of Woodside Petroleum Ltd shares. For the uninitiated in Spice dividend refers to dividend distributed in any form other than cash. This was in connection with the merger of BHP's oil and gas portfolio with Woodside.
As per the announcement, the in-specie dividend is expected to be paid on 1 June 2022 and will be fully franked.
Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX:WOW)
The supermarket retailer Woolworths Group has unveiled plans to purchase an 80% interest in online marketplace retailer MyDeal. Woolworths' proposal involves an all-cash consideration of $1.05 a share, which represents a premium of 62.8% to the last closing price of $0.65 per share.
MyDeal has recommended its shareholders vote in favour of the transaction in the absence of any superior proposal.
IGO Limited (ASX:IGO)
Today the mining and minerals exploration company IGO Limited announced the first and consistent production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from the Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Refinery. This development represents an important milestone for the Lithium Joint Venture between IGO (49%) and Tianqi Lithium Corporation (51%).
Genesis Energy (ASX:GNE)
The share price of ASX-listed New Zealand based electricity and natural gas retailer Genesis Energy was in focus on Friday after the company revealed that it is considering selling up to NZ$225,000,000 of 30-year unsecured, subordinated green capital bonds to New Zealand investors. It is believed that the company has made this offer to refinance its debt. As per the announcement, the complete details of the offer are likely to be released on 26 May 2022, when the offer is expected to open.