Lending Association

ASX closed 0.5% higher: Healthcare and Financials outperform

The Australian sharemarket extended its longest winning streak of the year as the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to 7514.9, driven by gains in healthcare and financial sectors following a Wall Street rally that pushed the S&P 500 to a new high. Additionally, Brent crude reached $80 a barrel, and major banks like National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank recorded strong gains during the session.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 16 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 1 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 20.25 points.

The SPI futures are up 38 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Health Care, up 1.02 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, down 0.35 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was South32 (ASX:S32), closing 4.13 per cent higher at $3.28. It was followed by shares in GQG Partners (ASX:GQG) and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN).

The worst-performing large cap was IDP Education (ASX:IEL), closing 5.85 per cent lower at $20.77. It was followed by shares in Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY) and Medibank Private (ASX:MPL).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.02 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.77 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.56 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,049.10 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.8 per cent lower at US$129.45 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.36 per cent rise.

Light crude is trading $0.13 lower at US$74.63 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 66.03 US cents.