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Tech stocks and miners help ASX hold 0.2% gain

Daily Market Update

ASX losing direction, Zip on fire, Rural expands macadamia farm

It was another mixed day for the ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) on Thursday, finishing slightly higher, up 0.2%, despite a strong opening.

Thursday’s gains came from the IT and consumer staples sectors, which were both over 1% higher for the day, the former driven by a large jump in Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) shares.

  • The Z1P share price finished over 13% higher amid rumours that a large ‘strategic’ investor was creeping up the share register.

    Reports suggested that the investor is global BNPL competitor Klarna, which is part-owned by the Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA).

    AMP’s (ASX: AMP) breakup continues to gather steam, with the group announcing the sale of its Global Equities and Fixed Income unit to Macquarie Asset Management for $185 million. Shares in both AMP and Macquarie were up slightly.

    Macquarie sees the opportunity to provide both scale and distribution as sentiment towards all things AMP wanes.

    Macquarie is clearly staying busy with reports now suggesting they are testing interest to build a second consortium to scuttle IFM’s bid for Sydney Airport Holdings (ASX: SYD). The SYD share price ended 2.9% higher.

    Rural raising capital for expansion, ex-dividend confusion

    Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF), which was subject to a short attack a few years ago, has moved from strength to strength and entered a trading halt as management seeks to raise a further $100 million.

    The funds will be put towards greenfield expansion of their macadamia plantations, adding another 500 hectares along with further investments in cattle feedlots.

    The offer is at $2.47 per share, just a 5% discount.

    The dog of 2021, Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL) continues to rally, jumping 8.2%, moving higher with the broader tech sector despite any additional news.

    Meanwhile, Megaport Ltd (ASX: MP1) increased slightly after delivering a strong update to the market, the company grew its customer base by 8% with a further 168 business customers added.

    This contributed to an 11% increase in monthly recurring revenue with quarterly revenue hitting $22.7 million – a record quarter for the company.

    It seems many first-time investors were surprised by the significant falls in a number of broadly owned exchange-traded funds on 30 June 2021.

    As most readers would know, the funds and ETFs are structured as trusts meaning they must distribute all profits and income each financial year, and given the regular rebalancing of index funds, this can be quite substantial.

    Importantly, the 30 June reduction is replaced with a July cash payment which can always be reinvested.

    Markets drop across the board, jobless claims spike, Delta variant concern grows

    All three US major stock market indices dropped overnight, led by the S&P 500 which was down 0.9%, with almost every sector lower.

    The Dow Jones was 0.7% lower as industrial and materials sectors, which are more closely linked to the economy, were hit with worse than expected unemployment data.

    This sent the bond yield lower which for the first time in weeks didn’t result in a rally in tech shares, as the Nasdaq also fell 0.7% behind the likes of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).

    The pressure came from a much worse than expected release of new jobless claims which increased by 373,000 with expectations for a fall of 350,000.

    Commentators are now suggesting the ‘Delta strain’ may hold back the economy in the short to medium term.

    This pushed the entire semiconductor sector lower, including NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) which fell 2.3%, whilst Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) was the top performer as travel demand continues to improve.

    Industrials, property push ASX lower, RBA hikes again, Woolworths guides to higher sales

    The local market fell sharply on the back of an unexpected 0.25 per cent interest rate increase by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The news took the cash rate to 3.85 per cent, adding more pressure to household balance sheets and came despite most experts suggesting hikes had come to an end. The hardest hit…

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    ASX boosted by the energy sector, Origin upgrades outlook, Best & Less gets a bid

    The local sharemarket finished 0.4 per cent higher on Monday, buoyed by the energy and utilities sectors, which gained 1.3 and 1 per cent, despite the oil price continuing to fall. The sector was buoyed by an earnings upgrade from Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) which sent shares 0.5 per cent higher with AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) also…

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    Upbeat start to week – and month – likely for Aussie market

    After a strong session for global markets on Friday, Australian shares will take a positive lead into the new week – and month. The Australian benchmark index, the S&P/ASX 200, added 16.5 points, or 0.2 per cent, on Friday, to 7,309.2, but eased 53 points, or 0.7 per cent over the week. ASX futures trading…

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