Market opens slightly higher; Zip, Vocus Group gain | AU Market Updates

The ASX 200 opened slightly higher on Tuesday, up 5.60 points at 6,886.30, even as the three major Wall Street indices closed at record high levels amid hopes around COVID-19 relief package and fast pace of economic recovery.

Over the last five days, the index has gained 1.83 per cent and is currently 4.32 per cent off its 52-week high. The ASX 200 closed unchanged Monday at 6,880.70. While the broader All Ordinaries index was up 0.673 per cent, the ASX 200 VIX Index was down 4.939 per cent in the opening trade.

On Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 237.52 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 31,385.76, the S&P 500 gained 28.76 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 3,915.59. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite settled 131.35 points, or 0.95 per cent, to 13,987.64. The Russell 2000 climbed 2.53 per cent to another record high.

Gainers and losers

In the opening trade, the top-performing stocks were Zip and Vocus Group, up 12.90 per cent and 12.79 per cent, respectively. Lynas Rare Earths was up 7.13 per cent. The bottom-performing stocks were Origin Energy (down 3.53 per cent) and Omni Bridgeway (down 3.15 per cent). News Corporation was down 3.03 per cent.

Sectoral movement

While the ASX 300 Metals and Mining was trading higher 2.094 per cent, the ASX 200 Materials was up 1.978 per cent. The ASX 200 Utilities was down 2.095 per cent. AUD/USD was trading 0.33 per cent up at 0.7703.

Newsmakers

Challenger is trading lower after the financial company cut down its dividend despite a surge in both profit and revenue. Macquarie is trading higher after it reported a turnaround in activity in the December quarter. James Hardie was trading up on strong earnings. Suncorp stock is also in demand following a 39 per cent increase in its cash earnings.

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