The Australian sharemarket lifted in the last hour of trade and closed in positive territory after having spent most of today’s session in the red. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.1 per cent or 10 points higher at 7,365. Across the sectors, five out of eleven closed in the red. Technology was the best performer, followed by health care. Meanwhile, real estate dragged the most, with materials weighing behind.
Buy now, pay later giant Afterpay (ASX:APT) had a good run today, closing 5.4 per cent higher, while Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) dropped 1.6 per cent. Across the tech sector, Xero (ASX:XRO) rose 1.7 per cent and Link Administration (ASX:LNK) jumped 15 per cent on news that it will be acquired by Dye & Durham.
Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) rebounded from yesterday’s losses, rising 8.8 per cent. Health stocks were among the rally, despite protective equipment manufacturer Ansell (ASX:ANN) closing 4.4 per cent lower. Bio-tech giant CSL (ASX:CSL) climbed 1.6 per cent and EBOS (ASX:EBO) advanced 5.1 per cent.
Major banks recovered slightly, with Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) and Westpac (ASX:WBC) both closing flat, while NAB (ASX:NAB) closed 0.6 per cent lower and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) closed 0.3 per cent lower. Meanwhile, Magellan Financial (ASX:MFG) closed 2.7 per cent lower after a weak performance today.
Heavyweight miners fell as Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) dropped 2.4 per cent following the acquisition of Rincon’s lithium project. BHP (ASX:BHP) dropped 1 cent after ruling out a higher bid for Noront Resources, and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) also fell 2.2 per cent in the afternoon.
In company news, real estate investment trust Charter Hall (ASX:CHC) declined 7.7 per cent after purchasing a 50 per cent interest in Paradice Investment Management for $207 million. Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) rose 2 per cent after purchasing Shep to expand its tech offerings.
Local economic news
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the weekly payroll jobs and wages. Payroll jobs were up 0.3 per cent in the fortnight up to 27 November 2021, and up 0.5 per cent in the previous fortnight (to 13 November 2021).
Join us for Stocks of the Hour here covering headlines from Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), Flight Centre (ASX:FLT), and Praemium (ASX:PPS).
Real estate investment trust Charter Hall (ASX:CHC) has purchased a 50 per cent interest in Paradice Investment Management (PIM) for $207 million.
Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the Rincon lithium project from Rincon Mining for $825 million.
Casino operator Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) has appointed Bronwyn Weir as group company secretary following the resignation of Craig Durham.
Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) says it will not increase or extend its offer to acquire Noront Resources, and will therefore not match the bid by Wyloo Metals.
Atturra (ASX:ATA) listed on the ASX today. Their shares issued at $0.50, started trading at $0.49 and closed at $0.615.
DMC Mining (ASX:DMM) listed on the ASX today. Their shares issued at $0.20, started trading at $0.17 and closed at $0.135.
Falcon Metals (ASX:FAL) listed on the ASX today. Their shares closed 0.13 per cent lower at $0.370.
Infinity Mining (ASX:IMI) listed on the ASX today. Their shares closed at 0.035 per cent lower at $0.165.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 7 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 6 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 42 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 10 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 2.6 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Real Estate Investment Trusts, down 1 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK), closing 15 per cent higher at $5.51. It was followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Afterpay (ASX:APT).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Falconmetalsltd (ASX:FAL), closing 37 per cent lower at $0.32. It was followed by shares in Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) and Ansell (ASX:ANN).
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.1 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.1 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1788.53 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.5 per cent higher at US$123.80 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.9 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.11 higher at US$71.23 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.22 US cents.