ASX up 0.6% ahead of RBA rate decision; travel stocks rally

Highlights

  • The ASX 200 traded higher by 0.6% by mid-session on Tuesday.
  • Barring utilities and materials, all sectors traded in the green zone.
  • Travel stocks surged on easing concerns about the Omicron variant.
  • Newly listed company RocketBoots dropped 10% on IPO debut.
  • On Wall Street, all three major indices rallied in overnight trade.

Australian shares continued to trade higher in afternoon trade on Tuesday as easing concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus boosted market sentiments. Travel stocks were among the biggest gainers as positive news on Omicron served to allay the concerns about new lockdowns from the new COVID-19 strain. Investors kept an eye on the Reserve Bank’s monthly policy announcement slated to be released later today. The apex bank is widely expected to keep the cash rate unchanged at record low of 0.1%, while it is also seen to continue its bonds buying program at the rate of AU$4 billion per week until at least mid‑February next year.

By afternoon trade, the ASX 200 index was up by 43.10 points or 0.59% to 7,288.20. The benchmark index opened higher today, rising as much as 0.9% in opening deal following strong cues from the US and European markets.   

 ASX up 0.6% ahead of RBA rate decision; travel stocks rally

 

In overnight trade on Wall Street, the US markets closed higher as concerns about the potential impact of Omicron variant eased. Investors piled into stocks that were likely to perform well in a rising interest rate environment, while economy-linked banks and energy stocks also surged. The S&P 500 surged 1.17%, while the Dow Jones rose 1.87%. The NASDAQ Composite closed 0.93% higher.

Back home, on the sectoral front, nine of 11 sectors were trading in the green, led by consumer discretionary, which rose 1.3%. The consumer discretionary sector was followed by 1% gain in tech, which saw surge in buying following strong cues from its US counterpart, NASADAQ Composite. Among others, the A-REIT, industrial, health care, energy, consumer staples, and financial sectors also witnessed a spurt in buying activities.

Meanwhile, utilities was the worst performer with a 0.44% loss, followed by materials which dropped 0.3%, owing to a retreat in commodity prices.  

Top gainers and losers by mid-session

ASX top gainers and losers  / Data Source: ASX Website (as of 7 Dec 2021, 1:00 PM AEST)

The top gainer on the ASX was corporate bookmaker PointsBet Holdings (ASX: PBH), which surged 7.2%. Some of other top performers were buy now, pay later business Zip CO (ASX: ZIP), travel services provider Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD), insurance, and banking business Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ), and Australia’s largest retail travel outlet Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT).

On the losing side, diversified financial business Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) topped the chart with a 3.9% loss. Some of the other top laggards were securities exchange operator ASX (ASX:ASX), healthcare business Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation (ASX:FPH), nickel miner Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC), and resource company Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU).

Shares in news

RocketBoots, Tesserent, Zip Co, Neuren, GQG Partners, Carsales, Lynas Rare Earths hogged limelight on ASX today

Image Source: ©Ptlee  | Megapixl.com

On the initial public offering (IPO) front, Australian software business RocketBoots (ASX: ROC) made a debut on the domestic exchange after successfully raising AU$4.25 million by issuing 21.25 million shares at an offer price of 20 cents per share. The stock had a weak opening and was trading 10% lower below the listing price by mid-session.

Shares of software and service business Tesserent (ASX:TNT) jumped 10% after a slew of acquisition news. The company has entered into agreements to acquire Pearson Corporation for up to AU$28.8 million and Claricent for up to AU$4.1 million.

Shares in fintech major Zip Co (ASX: ZIP) climbed 6% after its monthly transaction volume surged 52 per cent in November, compared to the previous corresponding period. Customer numbers also rose 71% to 9.2 million.

Shares of biopharma company Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX: NEU) zoomed 87% after it announced positive trial results for its phase 3 trial drug Trofinetide. Trofinetide is used for the treatment of Rett syndrome.

Shares of global equities manager GQG Partners (ASX: GQG) traded marginally lower after it reported drop in funds under management (FUM) during the month of November. The total funds under management fell 3.4% from US$90.4 billion to US$87.3 billion in November.

Online classifieds business Carsales (ASX: CAR) saw its shares fall nearly 1.5% even after the company reaffirmed its earning guidance for 2022 financial year.

Shares of Australian rare earths mining company Lynas Rare Earths (ASX: LYC) dropped 1.6% after its chief executive Amanda Lacaze sold 200,000 shares.

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