Aus shares post second week of gains: ASX closes 1.1% higher in broad rally

Australian shares had their best day this week buoyed by resources and travel stocks while news in the M&A space also got some attention. Wall Street provided a solid lead with its major indexes on track to snap their eight-week losing streak, receding recession concerns. During a volatile week, Beijing added more Covid cases amid rising anxiety around China’s economy and what that means for Australia.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 index finished 1.1 per cent or 77 points higher at 7,183. Over the week, it closed 0.5 per cent or 37 points higher, its second consecutive weekly gain.

Locally, all sectors finished higher except consumer staples. Energy led up 2.3 per cent, followed by consumer discretionary, materials and utilities.

The best performer was PointsBet (ASX:PBH), over 16 per cent higher at $2.91. This was followed by City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX) over 7 per cent higher at $2.42 and Block (ASX:SQ2) up nearly 6 per cent to $117.13.

Strong energy prices underpinned Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) up 3.6 per cent to $30.14 and Santos (ASX:STO) up 1.1 per cent to $8.24.

All major banks rose, but heavyweight miners were mixed. BHP Group (ASX:BHP) rose 2.5 per cent to $43.67 and Rio Tinto was up 2.4 per cent to $113.39, while Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) continued its decline from yesterday, down 1.3 per cent to $19.66.

On to travel stocks, Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) was up over 3 per cent to $20.35 and Corporation Travel (ASX:CTD) was up 3.5 per cent to $21.69. Sentiment in the sector was helped by bullish revenue outlooks from US Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways, although rising inflation eating away at consumer spending remains a concern.

The worst performer was Appen (ASX:APX), over 20 per cent lower at $6.54 after Telus walked away from a near $1.2 billion takeover approach just hours after it was revealed to the market. This was followed by CSR (ASX:CSR), down over 1 per cent to $4.67 and Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL), down over 4 per cent to $3.50.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian retail turnover in April rose 0.9 per cent to hit another record level and was up 9.6 per cent on an annualised basis.

The strength in retail turnover was being driven by spending across the food industries. High food prices have combined with increased household spending over the April holiday period as more people are travelling, dining out and holding family gatherings

Company news – including several mergers & acquisitions

American private equity firm Battery Ventures launched a further bid at $1.75 per share for Infomedia (ASX:IFM), which has now got three suitors on its heel. Shares rose nearly 6 per cent to $1.71.

Property exchange platform PEXA (ASX:PXA) is set to purchase a 25 per cent stake in artificial intelligence tech company Elula. Shares rose 0.3 per cent to $15.16.

Virtus (ASX:VRT) dropped its transaction implementation deed with CapVest after Deloitte said – in light of BGH’s revised offer earlier this week – that its offer was not in the best interests of shareholders. Shares dropped 1 per cent to $8.07.

Kelsian (ASX:KLS), previously known as SeaLink Travel, is selling its East London bus operations to Stagecoach for $35 million (£20 million). Shares rose 1.2 per cent to $7.52.

Tech company Novonix (ASX:NVX) announced that Trevor St Baker retired from the board, and will leave immediately. Shares finished flat at $3.74.

Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) completed its $190 million placement to fund the North American Lithium operation in Québec, Canada. Shares lifted 2.4 per cent to 21 cents.

XTEK’s (ASX:XTE) HighCom Armor Solutions business received a new purchase order from an international customer valued at $46.8 million (US$33.2 million). Shares soared 28 per cent to 41 cents.

Event Hospitality & Entertainment (ASX:EVT) agreed to sell Rydges North Sydney for $75 million to a Singaporean entity and High Street Holdings. Shares rose 1.8 per cent to $14.71.

Mighty Kingdom’s (ASX:MKL) technology deal with Google sent its share price 12.3 per cent higher before the stock went into a trading halt this afternoon. 


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 74 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 8 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 31 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 76 points when the market next opens.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.7 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 2.1 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.

Wall Street

Over the last four trading days, the Dow Jones gained 4.2 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 3.9 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 3.3 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1854.85 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.6 per cent lower at US$131.25 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 4.2 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.23 lower at US$113.86 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.33 US cents.