ASX pares opening gains to trade flat; TPG Telecom, Kogan lead fall


  • The ASX 200 traded flat by mid-session, paring early gains.
  • Six of the 11 sectors traded in red, while health care was the worst performer.
  • ALS, Nickel Mines, QBE Insurance, Megaport, Premier Investments topped the gainers’ list.
  • Eight cases of the Omicron strain detected in NSW.
  • On Wall Street, all three major indexes closed higher in overnight trade.

Australian shares traded marginally higher by afternoon trade on Friday, reversing early leads, amid sell-off in health care and consumer staple stocks. Looming fear about the long-term impact of the Omicron variant of coronavirus on the economy weighed on the market sentiment. As per the latest report, eight cases of the Omicron strain have been detected in NSW, which stoked fears of the reimposition of restrictions in the country’s largest state.

By afternoon trade, the ASX 200 index was up by just 6.80 points at 7,232. Snapping a two-session losing streak, the benchmark index opened higher today, following a strong finish at Wall Street in overnight trade. During the day’s trade so far, the index gained as much as 0.9% to hit an intraday high of 7,288.20.

On the sectoral front, six of the 11 sectors were trading in red, led by the health care index. The health care sector was the biggest laggard at a 1.5% loss, followed by consumer staples, which fell 0.8%. Among others, the telecom, utilities, tech, and consumer discretionary sectors also reeled under selling pressure.

Meanwhile, energy was the best performing sector with a 0.8% gain, owing to a rebound in crude oil prices. The energy sector was followed by industrial, materials, financial, and A-REIT, which gained between 0.4% to 0.8%.

In overnight trade, the US market ended higher as investors’ sentiments were boosted by better-than-expected jobless claim data, which eased concerns about the impact of Omicron variant on the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped the gainers’ list by rising 1.82%, followed by a 1.42% gain in the S&P 500. The NASDAQ Composite closed 0.83% higher.

Top gainers and losers by mid-session

Top 5 ASX Gainers and Losers (Data Source: ASX Website, as of 1:00 PM AEST, Dec 3)

ALS (ASX: ALS), a global leader in providing laboratory testing, topped the gainers’ chart by rising 3.3% by mid-session. Some of the other top performers were miner Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), insurer QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE), software business Megaport (ASX:MP1), and retailing business Premier Investments (ASX:PMV).

The top loser on the ASX pack was telecommunications company TPG Telecom (ASX: TPG), which dropped 6.5% by the mid-session. Some of the other notable losers were online retailer (ASX:KGN), mining technology business Codan (ASX:CDA), and gold miners Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL).

Shares in news

Buzzing stocks: BHP, API, Coles, CSL, TPG Telecom

Image source: Immersion Imagery,

Shares of BHP Group (ASX: BHP) rose nearly 2% after the world’s leading miner unveiled a plan to unify its corporate structure under its existing Australian parent company. The company, which currently operates under a dual-listed company (DLC), is expected to complete the unification process by 31 January 2022, subject to requisite approval.

Shares of health and beauty company Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX: API) extended gain for the second day and rose nearly 1% by the mid-session. API shares surged 18% on Thursday after it received a takeover bid from Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW).

Shares of Coles Group (ASX: COL) dropped 1.2% after the supermarket chain was sued by the country's industrial relations watchdog for underpaying its staff. Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) alleged that the Australia's second-biggest grocery chain underpaid 7,812 employees by AU$115.2 million between January 2017 and March 2020.

Shares of Biotech giant CSL (ASX: CSL) traded 2% lower amid speculation that it was in talks to buy Swiss pharma firm Vifor. The company in an exchange filing refuted speculation about its involvement in potential offshore merger and acquisition (M&A) activity.

Shares of TPG Telecom (ASX: TPG) fell nearly 6% amid a report that its former founder and chairman David Teoh has trimmed his stake in the telecommunications company. The company in an exchange filing confirmed that Teoh on Thursday sold about 53 million ordinary shares, representing 3% of the company’s issued share capital.





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