The Australian sharemarket swam in positive territory in the afternoon session thanks to strong gains from miners and energy stocks. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.8 per cent or 58 points higher at 7,411.
Across the sectors, 8 out of 11 closed in the green. Energy dominated as the best performer, up 2.5 per cent, followed by materials, up 2.3 per cent, then utilities, up 1.6 per cent. Meanwhile, technology tumbled 3.5 per cent, followed by communication services, down 0.8 per cent.
The major iron ore miners led the market on high iron ore prices. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) soared 9.8 per cent as the best-performing stock, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 3.6 per cent higher and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) closed 4.9 per cent higher.
BHP and Woodside Petroleum also surged following its news yesterday afternoon that it had signed off on a $41 billion merger deal. BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 3.9 per cent higher, while Woodside (ASX:WPL) closed 3.6 per cent higher.
Across the energy sector, Santos (ASX:STO) closed 2.3 per cent higher, Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closed 1.7 per cent higher and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) closed 3.8 per cent higher. Coal-mining stocks added to the gains, with Yancoal (ASX:YAL) and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) both closing 4.2 per cent higher.
Major banks rose, led by Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) closing 1.2 per cent higher.
Tech stocks crumbled as Afterpay (ASX:APT) closed 5.4 per cent lower and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) closed 5.8 per cent lower. Auto parts retailer Bapcor (ASX:BAP) was the biggest laggard, plunging 9.6 per cent following the retirement of its CEO.
Local economic news
RBA Head of Domestic Markets, Marion Kohler delivered a speech this afternoon named, “securities markets through the pandemic” at Australian Securitisation Forum Virtual Conference. Click here to read.
Also, RBA Deputy Head of Domestic Markets participated in a panel discussion with the theme, “transition to risk free rates – the future of BBSW” at the same conference this afternoon.
Please join us for Stocks of the Hour here.
Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) and energy giant Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) have signed a binding sales agreement for the merger of BHP’s oil and gas portfolio with Woodside.
Gold miner Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) has agreed to acquire Newmont’s power business from its Australian subsidiary, Newmont Australia, for US$95 million.
Software company TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) reported an increase in profit for the full year ending September 30, following strong growth in its software as a service (SaaS) business.
Bapcor’s (ASX:BAP) chief executive officer Darryl Abotomey will retire in February next year after 10 years with the company.
RAS Technology Holdings (ASX:RTH). Their shares issued at $1.50, started trading at $1.70 and closed flat at $1.60.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 26 points.
The S&P 500 futures are flat.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 24 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 51 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Energy, up 2.5 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 3.5 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), closing 9.8 per cent higher at $17.35. It was followed by shares in Champion <br>Iron (ASX:CIA) and Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Bapcor (ASX:BAP), closing 9.6 per cent lower at $7.46. It was followed by shares in WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) and Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR)
Japan’s Nikkei is closed due to Labor Thanksgiving Day.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.1 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.4 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1807.75 an ounce.
Iron ore is 3.7 per cent higher at US$94.70 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 9.9 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.55 lower at US$76.20 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.22 US cents.