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Australia ASX ends week on high with closing record

21:03  24 july  2021
21:03  24 july  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Investors have extended an ASX record as they look beyond the coronavirus lockdowns plaguing about half of Australia's population.

a scoreboard above a store: Shares have extended their closing record on the ASX for the second consecutive day. © Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS Shares have extended their closing record on the ASX for the second consecutive day.

Shares set a closing record for the second consecutive day after ticking higher than Thursday's level.

ThinkMarkets analyst Carl Capolingua was impressed.

"When you think about what's going on around the country, it's a very commendable performance," he said.

"You also might say it's completely at odds with what's going on."

NSW officials say it is unlikely their lockdown will end on July 30. Victorians and South Australians have a little more hope of their lockdowns ending sooner.

ASX falls as virus blues weigh

  ASX falls as virus blues weigh Shares had their poorest performance of the week on the ASX and were not helped by Victorians entering another coronavirus lockdown.The ASX indices moved from little changed to lower as reports filtered through that the southern state would bunker down.

Mr Capolingua said the ASX"s lofty heights showed how far investors look ahead.

"Investors are looking past lockdowns," he said.

"The coronavirus situation is so severe that there is a silver lining in speeding vaccinations."

Low interest rates and supportive policy from central banks are also playing major roles.

For the week, the ASX added a modest 0.63 per cent.

Next week, US tech giants will have some influence over markets when they report quarterly earnings.

The US economy has roared back from the pandemic but some investors are wondering how much growth remains.

The US Federal Reserve has a monetary policy decision due.

AMP head of investment strategy Shane Oliver said he expected policy settings would remain as is.

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Nor did he expect the US central bank to start winding back its bond buying, although the topic will be a point of interest.

US markets provided a modest lead overnight and the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by eight points, or 0.11 per cent, to 7394.4.

The All Ordinaries closed up 12 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 7670.9.

Healthcare shares were best and gained 1.29 per cent.

Market giant CSL added 1.47 per cent to $293.48.

Technology shares were the next top performer and rose 0.97 per cent.


Video: ASX opens one per cent higher as global markets rebound (Sky News Australia)

Energy shares fared worst and were the only ones to lose more than one per cent (1.06 per cent).

In corporate news, Star Entertainment withdrew its merger proposal for Crown Resorts.

A royal commission has raised the prospect Crown could lose the licence for its Melbourne casino.

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Star, which operates The Star casino in Sydney, said there was too much uncertainty to continue.

Star shares closed lower by 0.56 per cent to $3.53. Crown shares dropped 2.24 per cent to $10.02.

Insurer IAG is headed for a full-year loss from COVID-19 but company leaders say there is more certainty in the economic outlook.

Preliminary earnings issued on Friday showed a full-year net loss of $427 million, largely due to the impact of the virus.

Despite the current lockdowns, IAG has forecast its premiums business to improve by a low, single-digit percentage this financial year.

Shares were better by 1.03 per cent to $4.91.

Gold miner Evolution raised $400 million from institutional investors and shares resumed trading.

The share sale will help fund the $400 million purchase of gold mines in Western Australia from Northern Star.

Evolution will raise a further $50 million from retail shareholders.

Shares were up 4.42 per cent to $4.25.

The major miners were affected by the iron ore price moving lower earlier.

Fortescue fared best and gained 0.24 per cent to $25.25.

The big banks had a forgettable day.

ANZ had the poorest showing of the big four and dropped 1.11 per cent to $27.69.

NAB was best of the group and steady at $26.04.

The Australian dollar was buying 73.65 US cents at 1728 AEST, the same as at Thursday's close.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by eight points, or 0.11 per cent, to 7394.4 on Friday.

* The All Ordinaries closed up 12 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 7670.9.

* At 1728 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was lower by one point, or 0.01 per cent, at 7312 points.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 73.65 US cents, from 73.65 cents on Thursday

* 81.27 Japanese yen, from 81.29 yen

* 62.58 Euro cents, from 62.51 cents

* 53.62 British pence, from 53.64 pence

* 105.70 NZ cents, from 105.87 cents.

Afterpay, Oil Search mergers help ASX high .
Afterpay's massive merger deal has rocketed technology shares and helped propel the ASX to a record high.US payment provider Square's $39 billion play for Afterpay, and Santos' improved offer for Oil Search, contributed to the ASX200 rising to 7493.2 points at 1200 AEST.

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