After a sharp fall in the opening 20 minutes, the Aussie market has swung back into positive territory at lunch on Monday. The ASX 200 was down by as much as 56 points or 0.95% in an extension of Friday’s sharp 3% tumble. But as we approach lunch, the benchmark index is now 11 points or 0.2% higher at 5,936, having been up 32 points or 0.55% higher at its best levels. The upside move is despite another session of losses on Wall Street over the weekend, with losses in the US again driven by big name tech stocks.
Helping to drive the turnaround domestically are gains for some of the heavyweight stocks and sectors like the big miners, banks and health stocks. Iron ore miners such as BHP Group (BHP) is lifting 1.9%, and is the largest individual contributor to broader market gains. Fortescue Metals (FMG) is 2.6% higher while Rio Tinto (RIO) is gaining 2.2%. The big four banks are roughly 1% or higher with Westpac (WBC) the standout rallying 2%.
Leading biotech firm, CSL Ltd (CSL) is 0.66% higher after announcing this morning it had signed Heads of Agreement with the Federal Government to manufacture and supply 51 million doses of University of Queensland vaccine, with first doses scheduled for release from mid-2021 following successful clinical trials. CSL has also signed an agreement with AstraZeneca for the expected manufacture of approx. 30 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine candidate from early 2021.
Leading declines on the market are losses for the consumer sectors, industrials and technology. Buy-now
pay-later provider, Afterpay (APT) is down 2.2% although some other smaller BNPL player are advancing, with ZipCo (Z1P) up 1.2%.
Local energy names are also down with global oil prices dropping 3-4% over the weekend. There are also several companies trading ex-dividend, also acting as a drag, including ASX Ltd (ASX), Ampol (ALD) and Sonic Healthcare (SHL).
The Aussie dollar is relatively steady buying 72.85 US cents with ANZ Job Ads for August up 1.6% from an upwardly revised 19.1% lift in July. So far, 4.3b units have been traded worth a light $2.7b with 629 stocks higher, 543 lower and 353 unchanged.
Published by CommSec