The Aussie sharemarket snapped a three-day losing streak, with the ASX 200 climbing 0.8 per cent or 60 pts, to 7365. Today’s lift was driven by the US market’s performance, where major indices staged a solid rally after the US Federal Reserve – as expected – increased the Federal Funds rate by 50 basis points, and ruled out a 75 basis point rate hike in future meetings. The local interest rate sensitive Tech sector added 2.4 per cent, its largest daily gain in about a month. 10 out of the 11 sectors finished up, with the Financials sector losing less than 0.1 per cent.
In economic news, the US Federal Reserve handed down a 50 basis point increase in its Federal Funds rate overnight. Although the move was widely expected, Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments about the Fed ruling out a more aggressive, 75 basis point hike in future meetings, fuelled major US indices upwards.
Locally, Australia’s trade surplus rose by $1.9 billion to $9.31 billion in March. Also in March, dwelling approvals fell by 18.5 per cent, and approvals for apartments dropped 37.7 per cent.
In company news, National Australia Bank (NAB) recorded a 3.5 per cent jump in its net interest income, a 10.6 per centincrease in its profits and a 4.1 per cent climb in its cash earnings
to $3.48bn for the first half. NAB says “competitive pressures and mix issues in housing lending” pushed its net interest margin (NIM) down by 11 basis points. NAB shares fell 0.6 per cent
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Alliance Aviation Services (AQZ) soared 21.1 per cent today after it received an acquisition proposal from Qantas (QAN). QAN will offer AQZ shareholders $4.75 of QAN shares for each AQZ share they hold. AQZ directors have recommended shareholders to vote in favour of the acquisition.
Shares of Janus Henderson (JHG) fell 13 per cent on the back of a quarterly report. JHG posted a 10.9 per cent fall in its assetsunder-management and a 35.3 per cent slip in its operating income against a year earlier.
Fund manager Magellan Financial Group (MFG) also posted a 2 per cent decrease in its funds-under-management, to $68.6 billion. Shares of MFG today however, climbed 5.1 per cent.
Skin and hair care product manufacturer BWX (BWX) slumped 20.6 per cent after it informed investors that its earnings may behit by higher costs and supply chain challenges.
5.2bn shares were traded, worth $7.9bn. 946 stocks finished higher, 495 ended lower, while 426 closed unchanged.
In the US, weekly figures on claims for unemployment insurance will be issued with the measure of job cuts from Challenger, and unit labour costs and nonfarm productivity data. The Bank of England hands down its interest rate decision.
Originally published by Divik Nigam – (Author), CommSec