The Last Trade || ASX Set To Close Higher Ahead Of US Inflation Data

This is the last show of the day - The Last Trade. Lets get started with today’s market close commentary.

• The Australian share market is set to close higher on Thursday, on the back of strong gains in realty, tech, utilities and telecom stocks. Investors remain in upbeat mood ahead of the US inflation data due tonight for more clarity on the Fed's policy outlook. 

• The ASX 200 is trading higher by 35.50 points or 0.49% at 7305.70 at the close. Earlier today, the index opened flat tracking subdued cues from the US stock markets which closed largely subdued overnight. Over the last five sessions, the index has gained 0.63%.  

• The market breadth, indicating the overall strength of the market, was strong with nine of the 11 sectoral indices trading in green. The A-REIT sector emerged as the top gainer, rising 2.26%. Among others, Information Technology, Utilities, Financials, Telecom and Healthcare also witnessed surge in buying activity. 

• On the other hand, Energy was top laggard with 1.1% loss, followed by Materials which drops 0.06%.  

• moving on to the Top Gainers and Losers

• Australia-based fintech company Iress Ltd. is the top percentage gainer on the ASX, surging 15.34% to hit one month high of AU$12.63 amid report that a big buyer was in talk to acquire its shares. The company, however, clarified to exchange that it has not received a direct approach and could not comment further.

• Some of other top gainers are Whitehaven Coal Ltd, ResMed Inc, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Elders Ltd. (ASX:ELD).

• On the other hand, Monadelphous Group Ltd. is top laggard on the ASX, falling 3.37% to AU$9.82. Worley Limited, Corporate Travel Management Ltd., Oil Search Ltd and A2 Milk Company Limited are among other notable losers, falling between 2.8% to 3.6%.

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