The Australian sharemarket closed marginally higher as miners and technology stocks lifted the index. The local bourse traded close to the flat line chopping lower by 0.3 per cent in the morning before rising fractionally from lunchtime to close near session highs, up 0.1 per cent or 8 points at 7,407.
The muted trade was weighed down by a 0.9 per cent fall in financials with energy declining along with losses in consumer staples, and utilities. Tech names jumped 2.4 per cent after their lackluster performance this week.
The highlight of the day was EML Payments (ASX:EML) galloping after Ireland’s central bank gave the green light to allow EML’s Irish regulated subsidiary “to sign new customers and launch new programs whilst staying within the material growth restrictions”. Four months ago, the company flagged that they were concerned about the central bank’s limits to hinder their European operations.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) shares surged 4.6 per cent to $32.30 after the company posted a $222 million first-half profit amid strong demand for respiratory devices for hospitals. The company is set to pay a 17 cents dividend mid next month.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not block NAB’s (ASX:NAB) takeover bid of Citi’s consumer business locally. The deal will see NAB take on Citi’s credit card, personal loans, and wealth management services. The watchdog said NAB would continue to face competition from a range of suppliers of credit cards. Shares in NAB (ASX:NAB) closed 0.5 per cent lower at $28.32.
NRW (ASX:NRW) is on track to hit the higher end of its profit guidance of $145 million to $155 million for financial year 2022. The construction and engineering company expects first-half earnings to be between $70 million to $75 million following several contract awards inked in the past few months. Shares soared 8.4 per cent at $1.73.
Pepper Money (ASX:PPM) unveiled a 12.5 per cent to 15 per cent lift in its profit guidance. Its net profit for this year is set land in the range of $135 million and $138 million versus a forecast net profit of $120.7 million as indicated in its prospectus. Shares closed 4.6 per cent higher at $2.30.
Meanwhile, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) jumped 1.8 per cent, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) wasn’t far behind adding 1.6 per cent while BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 1.0 per cent higher.
Afterpay (ASX:APT) led the information technology sector surging 4.2 per cent after its US suitor Square rallied on Wall St. Technology One (ASX:TNE) soared 4.3 per cent, Wisetech (ASX:WTC) jumped 2.3 per cent, while Altium (ASX:ALU) closed 1.8 per cent higher.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei is rallying erasing its losses from its steep fall the previous session lifted by tech shares following Wall St’s lead amid a pull back in bond yields.
Thanksgiving Holidays in the US which means Wall St is closed. We will look to European markets for our lead. Also, it will only be a text report tomorrow.
Local economic news
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released business investment figures which showed that new capital expenditure fell by 2.2 per cent for the September quarter against a market expectation of a fall of 2.0 per cent.
Buildings and structures fell by 0.2 per cent, while equipment, plant and machinery fell by 4.1 per cent. Estimate 4 for 2021-22 is $138.6 billion, which is 8.7 per cent higher than estimate 3 for 2021-22.
Elsewhere payroll jobs are up 1.4 per cent in the fortnight up to 30 October as per the ABS.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 143 points when the market next opens.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 18 points when the market next opens.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 54 points when the market next opens.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 4 points.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 2.4 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Financials, down 0.9 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was EML Payments (ASX:EML) closing 31.3 per cent higher at $3.61. It was followed by shares in Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was AMP (ASX:AMP) closing 5 per cent lower at $1.04. It was followed by shares in Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX:BEN).
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.7 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.2 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1794.49 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.0 per cent higher at US$103.45 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 1.8 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.17 lower at US$78.22 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.06 US cents.