The ASX 200 inched higher on Wednesday, buoyed by miners and banks. Overnight, US stocks finished lower as investors dumped heavyweight growth stocks.
Blue-chip tech giants dragged the NASDAQ Composite by about 2% lower, its biggest single-day decline in almost six weeks. Australian tech shares fell nearly 2%. Banks were the top boosts to the benchmark, rising by as much as 0.7%.
Miners traded 0.2% lower after gaining about 0.4% earlier in the session, with gold miners being the biggest drags after bullion prices fell more than 1% overnight.
Nearmap Ltd (ASX:NEA)
The stock of the aerial imagery technology and location data company surged 15.5% to the intra-day high of AU$2.38. The stock has gained following a positive announcement by the firm after market close on Tuesday. The firm increased its full-year guidance for annual contract value (ACV) and expected to deliver ACV of $128 million to $132 million in FY 2021.
The company had a previous guidance of AU$120 million to AU$128 million. Meanwhile the securities of Nearmap have now been placed in a temporary trading halt at the request of NEA, pending a further announcement.
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Janus Henderson Group CDI (ASX:JHG)
The stock of the global asset management group soared by just over 5% to hit the day’s high of AU$47.04. The stock surged today even as the financial sector, which gauges the performance of 286 Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)-listed companies, is trading 0.90% up in the aftermath of the Reserve Bank of Australia ‘s (RBA) policy announcements.
Brickworks Ltd (ASX:BKW)
The stock rose 4.5% to hit a high of AU$21.25. The stock has surged without any major positive update released to the ASX today. The stock is believed to have surged after the RBA kept the official interest rate unchanged in yesterday’s monetary policy meeting. A-REITs sector, which constitutes 85 ASX-listed real estate companies, is trading 0.40% higher today.
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QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX:QBE)
The stock of the general insurance and reinsurance company surged just over 4% to AU$10.47. The stock surged after Michael Wilkins, Chairman, QBE Insurance Group said that the top-line of the company had improved meaningfully with headline GWP increasing 28% compared with the first quarter of 2020 or 23% on a constant currency basis.
Strong market conditions would continue into 2021 as evidenced by the 8.9% premium rate increase achieved in the first quarter, compared with 7.3% in the first quarter of 2020, Wilkins also said during his address to the shareholders in the annual general meeting (AGM). Each of company’s divisions achieved premium rate increases in line with expectations and stronger than the increases recorded in the prior corresponding period, he noted.
Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX:SUL)
The retail stock rose just over 4% to AU$12.21. The stock has gained after the company released a positive sales update on Tuesday. The gross margin improvement has been maintained in the second half. The share price is now up over 100% since this time last year.