Ampol rises on Z Energy deal, Star tumbles 17%: ASX down 0.6% at noon

The Australian sharemarket has started the week in negative territory as health and tech stocks weigh on the index. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.6 per cent or 47.2 points lower at 7272.9. The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 39 points.

Across the sectors, energy is up 1.1 per cent as the best performer, thanks to rising oil prices and Ampol’s takeover deal. Materials are the only other sector in the black. Technology has been hit the hardest, down 2.4 per cent, followed by consumer discretionary and health care, both down 1.8 per cent.

The best-performing stock is BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL), trading 1.5 per cent higher. The worst-performing stock is Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV), trading 2.9 per cent lower. 

Amid technology stocks, Afterpay (ASX:APT) is down 3.6 per cent and payment software Xero (ASX:XRO) is down 2.9 per cent. Health stocks are under pressure, with Sonic (ASX:SHL) down 2.3 per cent, Healius (ASX:HLS) down 3 per cent and Cochlear (ASX:COH) down 2.9 per cent. Major banks are also lower, except Commonwealth (ASX:CBA), up 0.03 per cent, while Westpac (ASX:WBC) is down 0.07 per cent.
 
After more then 100 days in lockdown, NSW celebrates its first day of social freedom with the reopening of venues. Despite this, travel stocks are under pressure, led by Flight Centre (ASX:FLT), down 1.8 per cent, and Webjet (ASX:WEB), down 2.2 per cent. 

In headlines this morning, Ampol (ASX:ALD) is trading 4.2 per cent higher after winning its takeover deal with Z Energy (ASX:ZEL), which is trading 5.9 per cent higher. Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) is down 17.5 per cent as the casino giant responds to allegations made. 

Local economic news 

No eco news today. 

Company news

Casino operator Star Entertainment has responded to recent media reports, claiming that a number of allegations made against them are “misleading”.

Australian petroleum giant has finally won over its deal to acquire New Zealand’s Z Energy, after months of take-over talks.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Energy, up 1.1 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 2.4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL), trading 1.5 per cent higher at $20.58. It is followed by shares in Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) and Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CUV), trading 2.9 per cent lower at $39.56. It is followed by shares in Healius (ASX:HLS) and Cochlear (ASX:COH).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1756.62 an ounce.
Iron ore is 5.4 per cent higher at US$123.38 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.86 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.16 US cents.