- After a gap of more than a year, the S&P/ASX 200 Index reclaimed 7,100 points on Wednesday, its highest level since the COVID-19 pandemic-led sell-off triggered in February and March last year.
- Six of 11 sectors were trading in green, while Health Care was the best performing sector.
- Nearmap was the top gainer on ASX, rising over 14% to AU$2.350, after it raised FY21 Annual Contract Value (ACV) guidance.
The benchmark index, ASX200, breached 7,100 level on Wednesday, its highest since the COVID-19 pandemic-led sell-off triggered in February and March last year. ASX 200 was up 45.80 points or 0.65% to trade at 7,113 by afternoon as traders remained buoyed by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision to continue ultra-accommodative stance in its latest policy announcement.
Six of 11 sectors were trading in green, while Health Care was the best performing sector. Other sectors that lead on the ASX include Energy, Financial, Materials and Consumer Staples. While Information Technology, Utilities, Telecommunications Services, Consumer Discretionary, and A-REIT were among top losers.
Earlier today, ASX 200 opened marginally lower after the US stocks closed mixed overnight. The market, however, rebounded strongly on the back of gains in heavyweight miners, healthcare, and banks, which remained in an upbeat mood after the RBA policy announcement. In line with market expectations, the Australian central bank has maintained status quo in current policy settings, including the targets of 10 basis points for the cash rate and the yield on the 3-year Australian Government bond. The apex bank has raised the country’s GDP growth scenario, with growth of 4.75% expected over 2021 and 3.5% over 2022.
Gainers and Losers
Aerial technology and data company Nearmap Ltd. (ASX:NEA) was the top gainer on the ASX, rising over 14% to AU$2.350 after it raised FY21 Annual Contract Value (ACV) guidance on the back of strong H1 FY21 performance. Janus Henderson Group Plc (ASX:JHG), Worley Limited (ASX:WOR), QBE Insurance Group Limited (ASX:QBE), and Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Limited (ASX:NEC) are among other top performing stocks on the ASX.
Some of the worst performing shares are Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SLR), Appen Limited (ASX:APX), Netwealth Group Ltd (ASX:NWL), Polynovo Limited (ASX:PNV), and Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX:RMS).
Shares in News
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX:ANZ) shares were down 2% after it released quarterly performance updates. The lender announced that its cash profit from continuing operations more than doubled to AU$2.99 billion in the half year ended 31 March 2021, compared to AU$1.41 billion a year ago.
Firefinch Limited (ASX:FFX) shares were trading higher by over 2% at AUD 0.390 after the company unveiled new plan for the Morila Gold Mine in Mali. The new plan foresees an annual average production rate of 160,000 ounces of gold to 2030.
IkeGPS Group (ASX:IKE) shares were trading in green at AUD 0.860 after the company signed an extension to a significant agreement with a Fortune 100 US electric utility.
Anteotech LTD (ASX:ADO) has announced to raise up to AUD4.0 million through Share Purchase Plan (SPP) by issuing fully paid ordinary share to its eligible shareholders. Eligible shareholders can apply for up to AUD30,000 worth of Shares at an issue price of AUD0.26 per share as the Company aims to raise up to AUD4.0 million in totality through the SPP.
Nick Scali Ltd (ASX:NCK) has released a trading update and profit guidance report as per which, the total written sales orders for the group grew by 52% in H1 FY21. EBITDA for the year ending 30 June 2021 is expected to be around AUD 120 million, while net profit after tax is likely to be in the range of AUD 78 million to AUD 80 million, a rise of 85% to 90% on the previous financial year.
Healius (ASX:HLS) said its non-COVID revenue had grown during the second half of financial year 2021. The company’s pathology coronavirus testing number reached a 3-million mark during the March quarter.
Pengana Capital Group (ASX:PCG) has awarded the management of two global equities strategies to Axiom Investors.
Global Market Update
Overseas, the Asia-Pacific markets were trading mostly higher with thin trade as three major markets – China, Japan, and Hong Kong – remain closed on account of their respective national holidays. The Dow Jones New Zealand and Taiwan TSEC 50 Index are trading higher.
Commodity Market Update
The crude oil prices hit a 7-week high on Tuesday amid bullish demand outlook after more US states eased COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions and the European Union sought to focus on tourism. Brent crude Futures closed US$1.32 up, at US$68.88 a barrel, while WTI crude Futures climbed US$1.20 to settle at US$65.69 a barrel.
Gold price was down by 1% after the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said interest rates might need to rise. The US gold Futures last traded at US$1,776 an ounce, falling 0.9%.
Weighed down by falling gold prices, Australian gold miners were trading in red on the ASX. Shares of Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) were down by 1%, while Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) was down 2.8%.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was trading higher by 0.09% to 0.772. The US dollar index rose 0.337%. The Australian dollar is a commodities currency.