- The S&P/ASX200 gained as much as 0.9% to hit an intraday high of 7,370.10.
- The index closed higher by 80 points or 0.16% at 7,313.
- Eight of the 11 sectoral indices ended in green, while telecom emerged as the top performer with 2.58% gain.
The Australian shares closed marginally higher on Wednesday, with telecom, material and real estate stocks witnessing a surge in buying, while COVID-19 curbs across the country restricted upmove. The market saw a positive and steady start to the session and gradually kept on inching higher by afternoon. However, persistent concerns over rising COVID-19 exposure sites and tighter curbs spoiled the market mood towards the end of the day's trade.
On the sectoral front, eight of the 11 sectoral indices ended in green. The telecommunications services sector emerged as the top performer with 2.58% gain. Some of the other sectors that closed higher include materials, financial, industrials, and consumer discretionary.
On the flip side, utilities stock emerged as the top laggard, falling 2.94%. Health care and energy stocks also ended lower with around 0.6% loss.
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Among the individual stock, Australian resource company Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU) was the top percentage gainer on the ASX, rising 11.5%. Some of the other notable gainers were Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (ASX:CUV), Chalice Mining Ltd (ASX:CHN), Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) and Nearmap Ltd. (ASX:NEA).
On the other hand, technology company Nuix Limited (ASX:NXL) was the top laggard with 12.6% loss. AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGL), Collins Foods Limited (ASX:CKF), Kogan.com Ltd. (ASX:KGN) and Origin Energy Ltd (ASX:ORG) were among top losers.
Shares in news
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Shares of First Graphene Limited (ASX:FGR) jumped as much as 5.4% to 29.5 Australian cents after the company said it had signed a distribution agreement with Auckland-based GtM Action Ltd.
Talent management tech firm LiveHire Limited (ASX:LVH) shares rose as much as 9.3% to 41 cents after the company won a managed direct sourcing contract along with an unnamed unit of a private US firm.
The share price of Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (ASX:KCN) dropped 2.9% to 84.5 cents on a deal with TDG Gold Corp. The company has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent with TSXV-listed TDG Gold Corp, outlining terms for the acquisition of the Company’s Nueva Esperanza advanced gold-silver exploration and development project.
Shares of Australia's TerraCom Limited (ASX:TER) soared nearly 23% to 13.5 cents on debt relief. The company said in an exchange filing that its debt holders had agreed to delay payments by six weeks, allowing it to finalise a new debt facility of up to AU$215 million.
Software firm Novatti Group Limited (ASX:NOV) has entered into share purchase agreements for the acquisition of an equity interest of at least approximately 15% in ASX-listed Reckon Limited (ASX:RKN).
Lithium–boron supplier ioneer Ltd (ASX: INR) has signed a binding offtake supply agreement with EcoPro Innovation Co Ltd. The agreement is for three years, under which ioneer will supply EcoPro with lithium carbonate from its Rhyolite Ridge LithiumBoron Project in Nevada. The condition precedent of the Agreement is ioneer’s final investment decision.
Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), the telecommunications carrier, reported the sale of 49% of its Tower’s business for AU$2.8 billion on 30 June 2021. A consortium comprising the Future Fund, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and Sunsuper will become strategic partners in Telstra InfraCo Towers on sale. Its Towers business is the largest mobile tower infrastructure provider in Australia, with approximately 8,200 towers.
Shares of Link Administration Holdings Limited (ASX: LNK) rose 1% to AU$5.06 after the admin services provider announced the plans to retain a slightly smaller shareholding in the property settlements platform, PEXA. The shares of PEXA are set to list on the ASX on July 1.
The share price of AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) declined as much 9% to AU$9.25 after the company unveiled its demerger plan. AGL Energy will be renamed Accel Energy and demerge its retailing business, AGL Australia, into a separate ASX-listed entity in the fourth quarter of FY22. Accel Energy will operate the coal-fired power plants and wind farms, and AGL Australia will be a multi-product energy retailer.
Australian technology company Calix Limited (ASX:CXL) shares rallied 4% to AU$2.68 on securing funds for its new biotech facilities. The company has been awarded the maximum AU$1 million grant under the Australian Government’s Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF) to develop and transform its Biotech manufacturing capability at its Bacchus Marsh facility in Victoria.
The share price of AML3D Limited (ASX:AL3) gained 15% to 21 cents after the company announced that it had received a purchase contract from the Boeing Company for 3D printing, a tooling component.
Asian Markets Trade Higher
Asian markets continued to trade in positive territory on Wednesday, with Taiwan hitting new highs amid a surge in hardware activity for fresh cell phones and computers.
Taiwan’s Weighted Index rallied nearly 1%, while South Korea’s Kospi jumped 0.5% on strong performance by semi-conductor market. China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%.
In a similar trend, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 was trading 0.1% higher and India’s BSE Sensex gained 0.35%.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei was trading flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.16%.
In overnight trade, US stocks ended higher, with the S&P 500 hitting a record high for the fourth consecutive session. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones closed 0.03% higher, the S&P 500 also gained 0.03%. The NASDAQ Composite added 0.19%.
Bitcoin, Ether Edge higher
The cryptocurrency market were trading higher during Asian trading hours on Wednesday with major digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ether flashing in green. The market witnessed bullish trend after Formula1 roped in Crypto.com to be a global partner for its new Sprint series this year. According to the terms of the contract, the deal is worth US$100 million for five years. It is the first cryptocurrency to sponsor Formula 1.
Bitcoin (BTC), the largest digital currency by market capitalisation, was trading around US$35,075, up 0.65%.
Meanwhile, Ethereum, the world’s second-largest crypto, rose 0.2% to US$2,120, while Dogecoin dropped 0.3% to 25.45 cents.