Mid-Market: ASX adds 39 pts; Appen, Nearmap, Macquarie rise

Summary

  • The S&P/ASX 200 Index gains 70 points to reclaim 7100-mark on Thursday.
  • Technology services company Appen was top performer, followed by Kogan.com, St Barbara, Nearmap and Gold Road Resources among others.
  • Seven of 11 sectors were trading in green, while Materials was the best performing index.

The benchmark index ASX 200 was trading higher by afternoon, adding 38.70 points or 0.55% to 7100.4. In the last five session, the index has gained 1.06% and is currently 0.30% lower than its 52-week high. Seven of 11 sectors were trading higher, while Materials was the best performing sector, up 1.02%. Over the past five sessions, it has rallied 3.80%. Other sector that were trading in green includes A-REIT, Financials, Energy, Telecommunications Services, Consumer Discretionary, and Consumer Staples. Meanwhile, Information Technology, Utilities, Health Care and Industrials were worst performing sectors.

The market sentiment got a boost after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) upgraded the economic growth and employment forecasts in its quarterly statement on monetary policy. The GDP is expected to grow by around 4.75% over 2021 and 3.5% over 2022, while unemployment rate is expected to decline to around 5% by the end of 2021 and 4.5% by the end of the forecast period in mid 2023.

On Thursday, RBA Deputy Governor Guy Debelle said that the economic recovery of Australia has exceeded all expectations. The same would be reflected in the central bank’s latest policy statement. 

Gainers and Losers

Technology services company Appen Limited (ASX:APX) was top performer on the ASX today. The stock is up over 6% after falling as much as 21% in the previous session.  Kogan.com Ltd. (ASX:KGN), St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM), Nearmap Ltd. (ASX:NEA) and Gold Road Resources Limited (ASX:GOR) were among other top gainers on the ASX.

Some of the worst performing shares were Pro Medicus (ASX:PME), CSR (ASX:CSR), Afterpay (ASX:APT), Nuix (ASX:NXL) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS). 

             

Shares in News

Investment and financial services firm Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG; ADR: MQB) has released FY21 earnings report, which shows that the company remained undeterred by the COVID-19 pandemic, at least from a revenue standpoint. It reported 10% growth in net profit after tax attributable to ordinary shareholders at AU$3,015 million for the financial year ended 31 March 2021 (FY21), as compared to previous corresponding period. Macquarie’s board has also declared a final ordinary dividend of AU$3.35 per share for FY21. The record date is 18 May 2021 and the payment date is 2 July 2021.

Following earnings report, Macquarie shares are trading 0.3% lower at AU$158.380.

The share price of SportsHero Limited (ASX:SHO) rose over 6% to AU$0.320 after the company announced that it has signed a revenue sharing partnership with UK based Sportclips Limited, which has a exclusive subscriber agreement with Indosat Ooredoo, Indonesia’s second largest Telco. The deal is for three years and both the firms will equally share subscriber revenue generated frim Indonesian Sportclips subscribers on Indosat Ooredoo.

Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) has released third quarter performance report. The company has rereported strong operating performance during March quarter, driven by customer led demand for its assets in selected markets. The demand is driven by the changing consumption trends across the physical and digital spaces.

Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) share price rose over 2% to AU$2.43 after the company cleared its stance on participation in a consortium that it is negotiating to buy the former Hanjin Heavy Industries shipyard at Subic Bay in the Philippines. The Company stated that it has made major investments in its Australasian shipyards including in the Philippines and is looking forward to expand further its operations. However, there is no certainty that any additional expansion will be either pursued or completed.

Cannindah Resources Limited (ASX:CAE) share price jumps 25% after latest results confirm presence of large gold intervals. The company has said that it has received the results of successful latest trenching and indicate presence of substantial gold intervals in almost all trenches, with higher grades coincident with the mapped structures.

Nearmap Ltd. (ASX:NEA) share is up over 3% today, after falling 23% on Thursday amid report of legal proceedings against its US-based subsidiary in a patent infringement case. The company has denied the allegations by US rival Eagleview, stating that the patent infringement allegations are baseless. Eagleview on Wednesday claimed Nearmap had infringed eight patents and it shall claim damages for same.

White Cliff Minerals Limited (ASX:WCN) announced the results of reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the company's 100%-owned Reedy South Gold Project near Cue, Western Australia, on Thursday. In March 2021, the 6 hole 1,546m RC program was completed. Following the updates, the stock is up 29% at AU$0.022.

Graphite developer Volt Resources Limited (ASX:VRC) shares plummets 96% to AU$0.025 today. The company had issued an update on the progress of due diligence for the acquisition of a 70% interest in the Zavalievsky group of companies (ZG Group) on Thursday. The company had also shared Deloitte Ukraine's Financial and Tax draft due diligence report and AVELLUM's Legal and Commercial draft due diligence report have also been obtained and are currently being reviewed by the Volt board and management.

Commodity Market

In commodity market, Iron ore hits new record high amid increased demand of steel making ingredient by the profitable Chinese steel mills. 

Aluminum prices also edged higher, inching close to levels last seen in 2018 and copper prices flirted with 10-year peak

Gold prices flared as the weaker US dollar propelled the precious metal, an inflation hedge, above the key US$1,800 an ounce for the first time in the last 10 weeks. The US gold Futures closed 1.8% higher at US$1,815.70 per ounce. 

Oil prices fell on Thursday despite crude stockpiles in the US, the world's largest oil consumer, falling more sharply than expected. The rising COVID-19 infections in India also weighed on oil price. Brent crude Futures settled 87 cents lower, at US$68.09 a barrel, while the WTI crude Futures fell 92 cents to US$64.71 a barrel. 


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