ASX gains 0.5pct as global sentiment lifts

·4-min read

The local share market has rebounded from its morning losses, as gains by the tech and banking sectors outweighed losses by the major mining and energy companies.

After being down by 0.2 per cent before lunchtime, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Thursday up 35.1 points, or 0.52 per cent, to a six-week high of 6,794.3.

The All Ordinaries rose 43.2 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 7,018.4.

"There's a lot going on, that's for sure, and for the most part the market is absorbing the good with the bad," Saxo Capital Markets Australian market analyst Jessica Amir said.

"Broad sentiment is improving, and the commodities sector has a lot of headwinds", despite its losses on Thursday, Ms Amir said.

The tech sector was the biggest gainer, building on Wednesday's 3.8 per cent rise - its best single-day performance this month - with a 3.2 per cent gain.

Afterpay owner Block added 6.7 per cent, Whispir gained 9.1 per cent and Link Administration Holdings climbed 12.6 per cent as the superannuation services company came to terms with Dye & Durham on a revised takeover offer.

In the financial sector, ANZ finished up 2.2 per cent to $21.93 after coming out of a trading halt for a capital raising to help fund its $4.9 billion acquisition of Suncorp's banking arm.

All the other big banks were gainers as well, with CBA adding 1.7 per cent to $97.62, Westpac advancing $1.5 per cent to $20.84 and NAB edging 0.03 per cent higher to $29.66.

In the heavyweight mining space, the iron ore giants had a down day, with BHP falling 0.9 per cent to $36.79 and Rio Tinto dipping 2.0 per cent to $95.83.

But lithium producers gained after Tesla Motors announced in a second-quarter update that it plans to achieve 50 per cent annual growth in vehicle deliveries.

"It's been a good day for the lithium sector, because you've got all these EV (electric vehicle) companies that still want to hit their targets for the year," Ms Amir said.

Allkem added 2.2 per cent, Pilbara advanced 3.2 per cent and Liontown Resources climbed 11.2 per cent as it awarded a $35 million construction project to Lycopodium Resources for its Kathleen Valley lithium project in WA.

Goldminer Newcrest gained 1.6 per cent to $19.35 after announcing fourth-quarter production results five per cent above consensus estimates.

In the energy sector, Woodside dropped 4.4 per cent to $31.14 after releasing its first quarterly results following its merger with BHP's petroleum business.

"All key metrics were higher," Ms Amir said. "They're still one of this year's best performers, they're still up about 40 per cent."

Santos was also down, 1.9 per cent to $7.25, despite the oil company reporting first-half sales revenue of $US3.8 billion, up 85 per cent.

In health care, Telix Pharmaceuticals soared 20.7 per cent to a six-month high of $6.72 after the company reported it had made $19.3 million in 10 weeks of US sales of its newly launched prostate cancer diagnostic imaging product, Illuccix.

Former message board favourite Zip Co gained 16.5 per cent to 77.5 cents as the buy now, pay later company reported fourth-quarter revenue of $155.4 million, up 27 per cent from a year ago.

Zip said it had $278 million in cash and reserves, which it said was enough to fund it through cash profitability, although analysts noted its 40 basis point rise in Australian bad debts, to 3.8 per cent.

The Australian dollar was buying 68.96 US cents, from 69.13 US cents at Wednesday's close.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Thursday closed up 35.1 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 6,794.3.

* The All Ordinaries gained 43.2 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 7,018.4.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 68.96 US cents, from 69.13 US cents at Wednesday's close

* 95.38 Japanese yen, from 95.47 yen

* 67.53 Euro cents, from 67.44 cents

* 57.53 British pence, from 57.57 pence

* 110.79 NZ cents, from 110.51 cents.

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