Miners & energy rally, Tech weighs: ASX closes 0.9% higher

The Australian sharemarket swam in positive territory today, buoyed by a rally in materials and energy stocks while technology weighed.

Heavyweight miners did the heavy lifting, led by BHP (ASX:BHP), which was up 5.1 per cent to $48.82. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) rose 3 per cent to $113.74 and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) closed 1.2 per cent higher at $18.94.

The jump in oil prices supported companies in the energy sector. Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) rose 3.2 per cent to $1.63, Santos (ASX:STO) added 2.2 per cent to $7.79 and Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) closed 1.6 per cent higher at $32.16.

Gold stocks also had a good run. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) added 2.8 per cent to $25.98, Northern Star (ASX:NST) rose 1.9 per cent to $10.60 and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) closed 0.9 per cent higher at $4.45.

As companies continue to exit business deals with Russia, Amcor (ASX:AMC) fell 0.7 per cent to $15.40. Bluescope (ASX:BSL) rose 3.5 per cent to $20.68 and Alumina (ASX:AWC) lifted 0.3 per cent to $2.00 following the federal government’s ban on aluminium on Sunday night.

Major banks finished higher, led by Macquarie (ASX:MQG), up 1.3 per cent to $197.58. National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) rose 1.1 per cent to $31.23, Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) added 0.4 per cent to $106.07, Westpac (ASX:WBC) lifted 0.3 per cent to $23.62 and ANZ Banking (ASX:ANZ) closed 0.3 per cent higher at $27.67.

Technology stocks weighed today despite yesterday’s surge. Afterpay owner Block (ASX:SQ2) closed 5.1 per cent lower after surging over 9 per cent yesterday.

At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.9 per cent or 63 points higher at 7,341.

Local economic news

Consumer confidence plunged 4.8 per cent last week to its lowest level since early September 2020 when Victoria experienced its second wave of Covid-19. Weekly inflation expectations rose 0.4 percentage points to six per cent as petrol prices soared, taking the four-week moving average to 5.5 per cent according to ANZ and Roy Morgan.

Company news

New Hope (ASX:NHC) posted a strong financial performance for the half year ending January 31, underpinned by a surge in coal prices during the period. Shares closed 8.5 per cent higher at $3.18.

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) said the buildout has commenced at its radiopharmaceutical production facility in Brussels South, Belgium. Shares closed 1.4 per cent higher at $5.01.

Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) announced the launch of its Bubs Supreme infant formula and toddler milk, which will be on the shelf in 500 Coles supermarkets from May this year. Shares closed 1.2 per cent higher at $0.44.

Boral (ASX:BLD) said its earnings have been impacted by lower sales volumes due to the recent rainfalls in NSW and Queensland, and sharp increases in fuel and coal prices. Shares closed 3.2 per cent lower at $3.34.

Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) and Sime Darby Holdings Berhad (SDH) have received a non-binding proposal from IHH Healthcare Berhad to acquire their 50/50 joint venture in Asia, Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care. . Shares closed 1.5 per cent higher at $64.21.

Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) announced that Ann Custin has accepted an invitation to join the company’s board as a non-executive director, effective from tomorrow. Shares closed 2 per cent lower to $0.24.


The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 49 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 13 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 60 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 71 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Materials, up 3.3 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 1.3 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), closing 6.3 per cent higher at $1.86. It was followed by shares in AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) and BHP Group (ASX:BHP).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Atlas Arteria (ASX:ALX), closing 5.3 per cent lower at $6.60. It was followed by shares in Block (ASX:SQ2) and Life360 (ASX:360).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.5 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.1 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1936.81 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.3 per cent lower at US$147.90 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.6 per cent.
Light crude is trading $2.61 higher at US$112.58 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.86 US cents.