Mining, energy stocks drag ASX 200 lower; Lynas leads fall  

Highlights

  • The ASX 200 traded marginally lower by mid-session on Friday.
  • Eight of 11 sectors traded in the green, while consumer discretionary gained the most.
  • Mining and energy stocks were among top laggards, owing to fall in commodity prices.
  • IAG Group, Hummgroup, Aurizon, NUIX, Lynas rare earth, Qantas shares were in focus.
  • Health care firm Healius was the top gainer, while miner Lynas Rare Earths topped the losers’ chart.

Australian shares were trading in the red by mid-session, paring opening gains, dragged by mining and energy stocks. The correction in commodity prices as well as mixed cues from Wall Street also weighed on market sentiment.

By the afternoon trade, the benchmark ASX 200 index was down by just 5.80 points to 7,409.60. The index opened higher today, but soon pared gains and fell as much as 0.3%.  

On the sectoral front, eight of the 11 sectoral indices were trading higher, led by consumer discretionary and health care and property space. The consumer discretionary sector gained the most, rising 1.4% by lunchtime. It was followed by 1% gain in the health care sector and 0.9% gain in A-REIT space. Among others, telecom, tech, consumer staples, tech, and utilities also traded higher.    

Meanwhile, the material sector was the worst performer with a 1.55% loss, followed by energy, which fell 1.3%.  The slump in material and energy stocks was due to fall in commodity prices. Iron ore prices dropped 5.6% to US$117.50 per tonne, while Brent crude oil was unchanged at US$84.61 a barrel.

Top gainers and losers

Image Description: Top 5 ASX Gainers and Losers (Data Source: ASX Website, as of 12:00 PM AEST)

The top gainer on the ASX was healthcare firm Healius (ASX: HLS), which rose over 5% by mid-session. The share price extended rally for the second day after the company posted robust earnings in September quarter, helped by accelerated COVID-19 testing and a stronger performance by all business segments.

Some of the other notable gainers were healthcare equipment firm Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH), retailer Wesfarmers (ASX:WES), Auckland International Airport (ASX:AIA), and travel business Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD).

                   

 Mining, energy stocks drag ASX 200 lower; Lynas leads fall

 

On the flip side, Lynas Rare Earths (ASX: LYC) was the biggest laggard with a 6.1% loss. The stock price dropped after it reported a drop in sales during the September quarter.

Some of the other worst performers were transportation business Aurizon Holdings (ASX:AZJ), steel producer Champion Iron (ASX:CIA), coal miner Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), and resource company Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU).       

Shares in news  

Helloworld, IAG Group, Hummgroup, Aurizon, NUIX, Lynas rare earth, Qantas shares dominated trade on ASX

Image Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media

Shares of travel agent Helloworld (ASX: HLO) gained over 2.5% after it reported a strong performance in the September quarter.

Insurer IAG Group (ASX: IAG) shares traded 0.5% higher after the company said that the business has performed well in the first quarter. IAG, in its annual general meeting (AGM), informed its shareholders that it expects to grow gross written premiums by single digits in the financial year 2022.

Shares of Hummgroup (ASX: HUM) rose over 1% after its buy now, pay later transaction volumes rose 44.5% to AU$308.8 million in the September quarter. The total transaction volumes surged 39.6% to AU$763.3 million.

The share price of Aurizon Holdings (ASX:AZJ) dropped over 5% after the rail operator proposed a AU$2.35 billion deal to acquire One Rail Australia from Macquarie Group.

Shares of intelligence software business Nuix (ASX: NXL) jumped over 8% after it appointed Jonathan Rubinsztein as its new chief executive officer. Rubinsztein, the current chief executive of ASX-listed software business Infomedia, will replace Rod Vawdrey.

Shares of Lynas Rare Earths Limited (ASX: LYC) plunged over 6% after it reported a drop in sales during the September quarter.

Shares of Qantas Airways (ASX: QAN) rose over 1% to hit a fresh 52-week high after it unveiled plans to ramp up its international travel plans.

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