- The Australian shares traded higher on Thursday, led by gains in banking and technology stocks.
- Healthcare stocks also eyed their best session in one week.
- Despite the ASX 200 trading higher, miners and energy sectors offset gains due to a decline in commodity prices.
The Australian sharemarket rebounded from the marginal fall in the opening session, with bank and technology stocks leading the gains. IT stocks gained as much as 2.7%. Financial stocks also advanced, with the ‘Big Four’ banks trading in positive territory.
Healthcare stocks gained as much as 1.2% and eyed their best session in one week. On Wednesday, the Australian stock market snapped a three-day rally to end 1.9% lower at 6,931.70, its lowest close since 7 April.
Despite the ASX 200 trading higher, miners and energy sectors offset gains due to a decline in commodity prices. Miners were the biggest losers, dropping 2% to hit a more than two-week low due to a drop in Chinese iron ore futures.
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Global miners Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP) dropped 1.7% each. Energy stocks also sank as crude oil fell on concerns over rising COVID-19 cases in Asia. Oil and gas explorers Santos (ASX:STO) and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) also slipped.
Check out top five ASX gainers:
EML Payments Ltd (ASX:EML)
The tech stock rose over 14% to AU$3.24, its biggest intraday percentage gain since 17 February. The payment solution provider was the top gainer in the benchmark and the tech sub-index. The stock’s surge comes just a day after it fell 50% on fears of regulatory curbs on its Irish unit. The stock closed nearly 46% lower on Wednesday.
At the time of writing this article 2 PM (AEST), the stock was trading at AU$3.02, up 7.86%.
Altium Ltd (ASX:ALU)
The tech stock rose 6.5% to AU$26.19. on Thursday. The shares of the electronic design software provider were expected to have gained on expectations of growth in electronic devices globally. Global brokerage firm Citi had recently said that the website traffic data was pointing to favourable trends for Altium. It currently has a buy rating and a price target of AU$33.50 for the stock.
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The stock was trading at AU$26.11, up 6.27%.
Nanosonics Ltd (ASX:NAN)
The healthcare stock rose over 6% to AU$5.23. Even as no major announcement was made by the company today, the stock may have advanced amid success of the vaccine rollout in the United States. The positive expectations from the stock may have been reinforced following the release of updates by industry peers CSL, Haemonetics and Takeda. UBS has a buy rating and AU$7.00 price target on its shares.
The stock was trading at AU$5.14, up 4.05%.
Eagers Automotive Ltd (ASX:APE)
The retail stock rose over 6% to the day’s high of AU$15.47. The automobiles retailer on Wednesday reported a rise of AU$29 million in operating earnings for April. The operating profit of the company in the first four months of 2021 surged to AU$127 million. The company noted an “unusually strong market dynamics”, as demand exceeded supply at the dealerships.
The stock was trading at AU$5.12, up 3.64%.
Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT)
The tech stock soared just over 6% to the intra-day high of AU$91.89. The stock may have surged following the reports that buy-now-pay-later giant’s venture capital arm, AP Ventures, has been searching for its next investment. According to the report, AP Ventures may purchase a services provider for small- to medium-sized business merchants for nearly AU$45 million.
The stock was trading at AU$ 91.45, up 5.76%.