Tech & financials rise, Miners soften, Energy drags: ASX closes 0.5% higher

The Australian sharemarket eased back its gains in the afternoon session as the energy sector weighed and miners softened. Thanks to a rise in technology and financials, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.5 per cent or 39 points higher at 7,414.

All sectors closed in the green except energy, down 0.9 per cent and communication services, down 0.2 per cent. Technology finished the highest, up 1.1 per cent, followed by financials, up 1 per cent, then industrials, up 0.9 per cent. The best-performing stock was metal detector Codan (ASX:CDA), closing 7.6 per cent higher. The worst-performing stock was Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), closing 7.9 per cent lower.

Across the local bourse, Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) closed 7 per cent higher on its quarterly results, engineering provider Worley (ASX:WOR) closed 7.7 per cent higher, real estate advertiser REA Group (ASX:REA) closed 5 per cent higher and A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) closed 5 per cent higher.

Buy now, pay later giant Afterpay (ASX:APT) closed 2.1 per cent higher while Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) closed 0.4 per cent higher. Major banks finished higher, led by Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) closing 1.2 per cent higher, while investment company Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) rose in the afternoon session, closing 2.3 per cent higher. 

Heavyweight miners fell lower in the afternoon session, with Fortescue (ASX:FMG) closing 0.2 per cent lower and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closing just 0.2 per cent higher. BHP (ASX:BHP) kept the most gains out of the three, closing 0.8 per cent higher.

Energy stocks continued to drag today, with Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) closing 3.7 per cent lower following its quarterly results and Woodside (ASX:WPL) closing 1.8 per cent lower. Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) closed 4.8 per cent lower following the release of its annual meeting today. Telstra (ASX:TLS) also contributed to the losses, closing 2.1 per cent lower. 

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Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) faced another weighted month in September while border restrictions remained in place.

Beach Energy’s oil production fell in the September quarter, which led to a fall in its revenue for the period.

Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) beat its gold production guidance for the September quarter by over 2.0 per cent.

Online retailer Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) reported 330.5 million gross sales in the September quarter, up 21.1 per cent year on year and up 23.2 per cent quarter on quarter

IPOs

Alvo Minerals (ASX:ALV) listed on the ASX today with an issue price of $0.25. The shares opened at $0.37 and closed at flat at $0.41.

RAM Essential Services Property Fund (ASX:REP) listed on the ASX today with an issue price of $1.00. The shares opened at $1.05 and closed at $1.02.

Activeport Group Ltd (ASX:ATV) listed on the ASX today with an issue price of $0.20. The shares opened at $0.20 and closed at $0.20. 

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 24 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 25 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 50 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 1.1 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 1 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Codan (ASX:CDA), closing 7.6 per cent higher at $13.33. It was followed by shares in Worley (ASX:WOR) and Kogan.com (ASX:KGN).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC), closing 7.9 per cent lower at $3.05. It was followed by shares in Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) and The Star Ent Group (ASX:SGR).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.3 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.2 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.01 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1774.97 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.2 per cent lower at US$124.04 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.3 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.50 lower at US$81.94 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.97 US cents.