ASX reclaims 7000 mark on financial, tech boost; Afterpay jumps 7%

Summary

  • The ASX 200 gained 89.50 points or 1.29% to 7021.20 amid broad-based buying.
  • Nine of the 11 sectors traded in the green, while tech stocks lead the pack with a 4.32% gain. 
  • Afterpay emerges as the top gainer, followed by Redbubble, Altium, Eagers Automotive and IDP Education, among others.  

The Australian share market was trading near day’s high at the close, reclaiming 7,000-mark, led by gains in bank and technology stocks. However, losses in mining and energy space, owing to weaker commodity price, limited the upmove. 

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Staging a smart recovery from the previous session's losses, the ASX 200 was trading 89.50 points or 1.29% higher at 7021.20 at the close. Overall, the benchmark index has gained 0.55% in the last five sessions and currently trades 2.11% lower than its 52-week high.

The market breadth, indicating the overall strength of the market, was strong, with nine of the 11 sectoral indices trading in the green. Information Technology sector was the biggest gainer on the ASX, gaining 4.32% intraday and 4.47% over the past five sessions. Materials emerged as the worst performing sector, falling 0.66%, followed by energy stock which drops 0.26%.

Energy stock witnessed selling pressure for the second straight session, in sync with oil prices which dropped overnight. Index heavyweights Santos (ASX:STO) and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) were trading in red.

Mining stocks also trade in red due to a decline in commodity prices, with Global miners Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) extending fall for the second consecutive day. 

The financial sector was trading higher in line with the broader market, with all the "Big Four" banks trading in the green. 

In the healthcare space, Island Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (ASX:ILA), AdAlta Limited (ASX:1AD), Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX:PAR), Cann Global Limited (ASX:CGB) and Immutep Ltd (ASX:IMM) were trading in green. 

Tech companies rose the most, with Afterpay leading the rally with a nearly 8% gain. EML Payments, Altium, Nanosonics were among other gainers.

ASX-listed travel companies remained under selling pressure after Qantas Airline said it would lower the front-end commissions on its international flight tickets from 5% to 1%. Reacting to the news, shares of Flight Centre, Webjet, Corporate Travel Management and Helloworld fell up to 7%.

Top 5 Gainers and Losers

The top five gainers on ASX were EML Payments Limited (ASX:EML), Altium Limited (ASX:ALU), Afterpay (ASX: APT), Eagers Automotive Limited (ASX:APE) and IDP Education Limited (ASX:IEL). 

Some of the worst performing stocks on the ASX were Nuix Limited (ASX:NXL), Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU), Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX:FLT), Elders Ltd. (ASX:ELD) and Webjet Limited (ASX:WEB).

Shares in News

Shares of Nuix dropped 7.6% to AU$3.38 and emerged as the top loser on ASX. During the day’s trade, the stock fell as much as 10% to AU$3.28 as investors reacted to its investor day presentation. While speaking at the event, CEO Rod Vawdrey addressed issues and took responsibility for the bad performance of the company.

EML Payments share price rose as much as 15% to AU$3.23 and was the lead gainer on the ASX. The stock of the company fell 45% on Wednesday amid a report that the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) might take actions against its Irish subsidiary, PFS Card Services (PCSIL), which comprises 27% of the group's global revenue.

The share price of Ampol (ASX: ALD) traded higher by 0.5% at AU$27.98 after the fuel supplier said that it will collaborate with Tesla and Enerven to build a virtual power plant at three fuel retailing sites. The company has proposed to spend at least $100 million on “future energy” projects by 2025, as part of its decarbonisation strategy. It has also committed to use 40% renewable energy by 2025, and 50% by 2030.

Cleanaway Waste Management (ASX:CWY) in an exchange filing said that the High Court of Australia has dismissed the special leave application that sought to challenge the legal validity of the works approval to extend the company’s Melbourne Regional Landfill in Ravenhall, Victoria (MRL). 

Broker Macquarie has upgraded its rating on Afterpay shares to "outperform" from "neutral", and raised the target price to AU$120. 

Real estate player Domain (ASX: DHG) said it was hit by a cyberattack. The company has informed the Australian Information Commissioner and other relevant authorities about the incident and confirmed that some users’ personal information might have been exposed in the attack.

Shares of Nufarm Ltd (ASX:NUF) rose 2.66% to AU$5.02 after the company reported strong earnings for the six months ending 31 March 2021 due to robust demand and channel restocking in key markets. While the net profit rebounded to AU$58.9 million from a loss of AU$121.7 million in the preceding year, the Group revenue was AU$1.65 billion, an increase of 20% from the corresponding period last year. The Australian agricultural chemical company also said that it would not pay an interim dividend to its shareholders.

Core Lithium Ltd (ASX:CXO) rose as much as 6.5% to AU$0.245 after the company informed it had defined an additional exploration target of 9.8 million tonnes to 16.2 million tonnes of lithium oxide across seven different prospects within its Finniss Lithium Project near Darwin.

Asian Markets Trade Lower Amid Crypto Selloff

Asian markets were trading on a mixed note on Thursday, following weak cues from Wall Street, which ended lower in overnight trade amid fresh concerns over rising inflation. The volatility in the cryptocurrency market also weighed on market sentiment. 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 regained ground and rose 0.3%, paring early losses, following an improvement in exports and imports in April. While exports surged 38% in April from a year ago period, imports rose 13%, signalling an improvement in overall demand even as the country battled with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.70%, while China’s Shanghai Composite traded lower by 0.20%. Taiwan’s Taiwan Weighted Indices also fell by 0.9%

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 rose 1.3%, tracking cues from the Budget announcement. The government has significantly lifted welfare benefit rates and promised billions of dollars towards addressing long-term challenges in its 2021 budget, while forecasting a stronger than expected economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Bitcoin extends slump, slips below 40,000 mark

The cryptocurrency market witnessed a sharp sell-off on Wednesday amid an unusual confluence of bearish fundamentals, with all the major crypto coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and Dogecoin falling sharply. 

In the last 24 hours, the price of Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, dropped 8.7% to US$39,461, slipping below the psychological 40k mark amid lingering fear and uncertainty about digital assets. 

Meanwhile, Ether was trading 12.4% lower at around $2,595, while Dogecoin price was down 13% at US$0.355. 

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