Tech, healthcare propel ASX 0.3% higher; Clinuvel Pharma, Appen, Kogan lead

Highlights

  • The ASX 200 hasgained as much as 0.3% to hit a high of 7,526 by lunchtime.
  • Seven of the 11 sectors traded in the green, while tech and healthcare gained the most.
  • Mesoblast, Harvey Norman, Cettire, Splitit, Resimac, IGO and Bubs Australia have released their earnings reports.
  • Global biopharmaceutical firm Clinuvel Pharma has topped the gainers’ chart by gaining 8.7%.
  • NSW has reported 1,164 new local cases and three deaths in the past 24 hours.

Australian shares continued to trade higher by Tuesday afternoon, holding early gains, supported by buying across tech, healthcare and mining space. The market sentiment was also lifted by firm cues from Wall Street, which ended higher in overnight trade as investors cheered the US Fed’s dovish remarks on tapering its monetary stimulus.

The ASX 200 has gained 21.30 points or 0.28% to 7,525.80 by lunch. Earlier today, the index opened tad higher and gained as much as 0.3% to hit a high of 7,526 during the trade so far.

The market also witnessed stock specific movement as some big players such as Mesoblast, Harvey Norman, Cettire, Splitit, Resimac, IGO, Bubs Australia and others released their earnings reports this morning.

On the sectoral front, seven of the eleven sectors were trading in the green zone. The information technology sector was the best performer with a 1.4% gain, followed by healthcare, which rose 1.2% by lunchtime. Among others, telecom, industrials, consumer staples and consumer discretionary were also trading higher.  

                     

Will ASX sustain gains till the close?

 

Meanwhile, the energy sector was the worst performer with 1.5% loss, owing to fall in crude oil prices.  The price of benchmark Brent crude oil surged to over AU$73 per barrel in overnight trade as a powerful hurricane ploughed through the Gulf of Mexico, forcing shutdowns of hundreds of offshore oil platforms.

On the COVID-19 front, NSW reported 1,164 new local cases and three deaths on Tuesday, while two-thirds of the state’s adult population received at least a single dose of the vaccine. Meanwhile, lockdown has been extended for two weeks in Canberra after the capital region recorded 13 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19. 

Top gainers and losers

Global biopharmaceutical firm Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV) topped the gainers’ chart by rising 8.7% by lunchtime. Some of the other notable gainers were software company Appen (ASX:APX), online retailer Kogan.com (ASX: KGN), health care firm Healius (ASX: HLS) and tech firm WiseTech Global (ASX: WTC).

On the losing side, biotech firm Mesoblast (ASX: MSB) emerged as the top laggard with 11.3% loss. Some of the other worst performers were technology company Nuix (ASX:NXL), professional services firm Worley (ASX: WOR), gold miner Regis Resources (ASX: RRL) and miner St Barbara (ASX: SBM).

Shares in news

Source: © Stbernardstudio   | Megapixl.com

Shares of biotech researcher Mesoblast (ASX: MSB) tumbled over 11% post its earnings announcement. The company’s net loss widened to US$98.8 million in the 2021 financial year, while sales revenue dropped 77% to US$7.5 million, from US$32.2 million in the year ago period.

Shares of Aussie online bookmaker Pointsbet Holdings (ASX: PBH) were down 3% after it released its annual earnings report. The company’s loss rose more than 4 times as compared to the prior year even as it saw its revenue more than double.

The share price of Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) dropped 0.5% after Australia’s Big 4 lender completed the sale of its lender mortgage insurance business. The bank had sold insurance business to Arch Capital Group and entered into a 10-year supply agreement with the company.

Buy now, pay later firm Splitit Payments (ASX: SPT) saw its shares rise over 2% after it reported robust earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2021. The company’s merchant sales volumes surged 94% to US$172.5 million, while gross revenue rose 79.7% to US$5.5 million.

Shares of online retailer Cettire (ASX: CTT) has reported strong annual earnings and has also upgraded guidance for the next fiscal. The company’s gross revenue surged 333% year-on-year to AU$124.5 million in FY21, while sales revenue jumped 304% to AU$92.4 million.

Travel business Webjet (ASX: WEB) shares were up 0.7% after it released a positive trade update. The company claimed that it will be cash flow positive in the first half of the 2022 financial year as its post-COVID strategy is delivering results.

Australia's leading retailer Harvey Norman’s (ASX: HVN) shares fell over 2% despite delivering solid annual earnings. The firm’s profit after tax grew 75.1% to AU$841.41 million, from AU$480.54 million in the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rose 54.2% to AU$1.45 billion.

Shares of Bubs Australia (ASX: BUB) slipped nearly 4% after the infant nutrition and dairy business reported disappointing annual earnings. It posted a loss before tax of AU$77.8 million in the 2021 financial year, compared to AU$16.1 million loss in FY20, impacted by COVID-19 disruptions.

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