Best day since January: ASX closes 1.9% higher in broad rally

The Australian sharemarket had its best day since January after the ASX 200 jumped in a broad rally that lifted all eleven sectors. Financials and energy led the pack, both up 1.6 per cent, followed by technology, up 2.4 per cent. The sector with the fewest gains was real estate investment trusts, up 0.8 per cent.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 1.9 per cent or 127 points higher at 6,706.

The top performer in the ASX 200 was Imugene (ASX:IMU), up 42.5 per cent to 24 cents after posting positive overall survival data from its phase 2 study of its HER-Vaxx for patients with advanced gastric cancer. This was followed by PointsBet (ASX:PBH), up 12.5 per cent to $2.80.

The worst performer in the ASX 200 was Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), down 21.9 per cent lower at $2.64 after lowering its production guidance for the 2023 financial year. This was followed by Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), down 12.1 per cent to $7.02 as gold stocks plunged.

Lithium stocks extended their recovery today following last week’s sell-off. Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) rose 12.6 per cent to $1.03 as the third best stock, while Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) jumped 11 per cent to $1.08 and Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) closed 7.5 per cent higher at 86 cents.

Major banks posted strong gains, led by Commonwealth (ASX:CBA), up 4 per cent to $93.75. NAB (ASX:NAB) jumped 3.5 per cent to $27.96, ANZ (ASX:ANZ) rose 3.1 per cent to $22.58 and Westpac (ASX:WBC) closed 2.5 per cent higher at $19.96.

Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) led heavyweight miners, up 3.3 per cent to $17.85, while BHP (ASX:BHP) added 2.9 per cent to $41.18 and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 2.3 per cent higher at $103.75.

Meanwhile, energy players like Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WDS) rose 2.3 per cent to $31.31 and Santos (ASX:STO) closed 2.2 per cent higher at $7.38.

Company news

Fleetwood (ASX:FWD) is facing project delays after being hit with poor weather on the east coast, as well as labour and material shortages which have resulted in lower than expected progress across projects in NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia during the second half of FY22. Shares closed 19.5 per cent lower at $1.38.

Metcash (ASX:MTS) reported continued financial growth for the year ending April 30 despite external challenges like supply chain issues, flooding and Covid. Shares closed 4.8 per cent higher at $4.33.

Centrepoint Alliance (ASX:CAF) received a non-binding takeover offer from listed financial services company Diverger, which continued the consolidation within the financial advice industry. Shares closed 22.7 per cent higher at 27 cents.

Tamboran Resources (ASX:TBN) signed a binding agreement with Jemena which secures access to Jemena’s Northern Gas Pipeline. Shares closed 2.3 per cent higher at 22 cents.

Nuix (ASX:NXL) confirmed that the trial of the legal proceedings brought by its former chief executive Edward Sheehy, commenced in the Federal Court of Australia today. Shares closed 2.5 per cent higher at 81 cents.

Software provider RPM Global (ASX:RUL) flagged that the total contract value of software license sales reached $50.3 million in FY22, which was up $3.2 million from two weeks ago. Shares closed 2.8 per cent higher at $1.68.

Charter Hall Social Infrastructure REIT (ASX:CQE) had 361 independent valuations completed for the period ending 30 June 2022, which represents 100 per cent of the property portfolio by gross asset value. Shares closed 2 per cent higher at $3.55.

Carsales (ASX:CAR) requested its shares be placed in a trading halt pending an announcement in connection to acquiring the remaining 51 per cent stake in US digital marketplace business Trader Interactive.

OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) lowered its copper production guidance to reflect a soft start to the year and further material handling system and equipment availability issues at Carrapateena. Shares closed 2.9 per cent lower at $18.62.

Starpharma (ASX:SPL) signed an expanded research agreement with Genentech to evaluate additional DEP® drug conjugates. Shares closed 5.6 per cent lower at 68 cents.

Pro-Pac Packaging (ASX:PPG) downgraded its profit guidance for the 2022 financial year largely due to operational issues in the Flexibles business. Shares closed 4.4 per cent lower at 54 cents.  

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 19 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 15 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 126 points when the market next opens.

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.4 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 2.3 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.8 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1834.88 an ounce.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.3 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.34 lower at US$107.28 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 69.23 US cents.