Live markets, Thursday July 8, 2021

The Australian stock market returned a quick lead, but gains by the iron ore giants and a 13% rise for Zip Co helped the index hold its narrow lead until the close.

The ASX 200 finished up 0.2% at 7341.4, after rising 0.8% to 7381.9, its best intraday score in three weeks.

Biotech CSL and the big banks ended lower, while utility and energy values ​​also fell.

The ASX 200 added 0.2% on Thursday. Credit:Luis Ascui

A slowdown in the U.S. futures market and worsening COVID numbers in Sydney didn’t help sentiment much.

That said, Wall Street’s lead was solid. The S & P500 and Nasdaq had set new highs and bond yields followed lower after Federal Reserve minutes showed the cut schedule was still on hold.

TMS Capital’s portfolio manager Ben Clark said the fall in yields may have been a bad start for equity investors, with easing coming even as economic data continues to improve and market prices continue to improve. central banks begin the process of withdrawing stimulus measures.

“A few months ago, people were in complete agreement that yields would continue to increase,” said Mr. Clark.

“It really took a lot of funds on the wrong foot, and so you’re seeing a comeback in growth stocks, which now have a bit of a positive wind from many countries that are really stepping out of COVID, especially in America. and in Europe. “

Tech stocks led local gains on Thursday – chasing the Nasdaq higher – with Altium, Appen, Nearmap, Nuix. NextDC and TechnologyOne all improve.

Afterpay added 3% to $ 123.65 during what turned out to be a solid session for buy now-pay later businesses.

Zip Co finished 13.7% ahead at $ 8.78 based on rumors that Swedish company BNPL Klarna had taken a strategic stake, the latest move in an intensified environment for merger and merger business. acquisition.

Mr Clark said the M&A boom – which has also included speculation around Sydney Airport and Challenger – could see more names enter the mix in the coming weeks.

“I think a lot of institutional names are trying to figure out who might be next,” Mr. Clark said.

“And of all the accounts, there is a lot more to come.”

The local materials sector rallied on Thursday as the prospect of remaining loose monetary policy – both in Australia and the United States – boosted sentiment towards bulk commodities and sent the ore giants of iron to highs of several weeks.

BHP added 1.8 percent to $ 49.66 and Fortescue Metals rose 0.7 percent to $ 23.71.

Rio Tinto calmed down in the close but still managed to rise 0.1% to $ 126.22.

CLS fell 0.7% to $ 279.14 and was joined in the doldrums by other health names Polynovo, Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals and Pro Medicus.

ANZ was the worst of the Big Four, falling 0.7% to $ 27.94.

Retail and industrial conglomerate Wesfarmers finished 0.6% ahead to $ 59.09 – setting a new high of $ 59.63 in the process, while Woolworths supermarket rose 1.7% at $ 38.55.

Asian markets were weak as countries like Japan, South Korea and Indonesia struggled with worsening coronavirus outbreaks themselves

In Australia, Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley said he would not rule out having a hard border with NSW to prevent people from traveling between states, while WA has reported a permanent hard border with NSW.

Figures from Johns Hopkins University have shown the worldwide death toll from COVID topped 4 million as the race between the hyper-contagious Delta variant and vaccine rollout continues.

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