Tech surges, Miners weigh, BHP iron ore output falls: ASX up 0.3% at noon

The Australian sharemarket is lifting higher this morning with the likes of technology stocks. Despite a positive run across the sectors, heavyweight miners are weighing on the market. At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.3 per cent or 20.8 points higher at 7401.9.The SPI futures are flat.

All sectors are in the green except materials, down 0.9 per cent. Technology is leading, up 1.7 per cent, followed by real estate, up 1.5 per cent. Utilities, health care, communication services and consumer discretionary are all around 0.6 per cent higher. The best-performing stock is Uniti Group (ASX:UWL), trading 3.8 per cent higher. The worst-performing stock is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW), trading 4.5 per cent lower.

Tech stocks are among the biggest gains this morning, with Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Xero (ASX:XRO) both up 2.4 per cent and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) up 2.8 per cent. Afterpay’s buy now, pay later rival Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) is also up 3.1 per cent. Broadband provider Uniti (ASX:UWL) is up 4.1 per cent and aerial imagery tech company Nearmap (ASX:NEA) is up 3.4 per cent.

Supply chain logistics company Brambles (ASX:BXB) is up 2.3 per cent, despite warning of significant supply chain issues. Real estate groups Goodman (ASX:GMG) and Charter Hall (ASX:CHC) are up 2.5 and 2.4 per cent. Retailers Harvey Norman (ASX:HVN) and JB HiFi (ASX:JBH) are up 1.2 and 1.4 per cent. Gambling giant Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) is down 1.8 per cent following its annual general meeting held today, while PointsBet (ASX:PBH) is up 3.3 per cent.

Health stocks are doing well, with Fisher and Paykel (ASX:FPH) up 2.6 per cent, Cochlear (ASX:COH) up 2.4 per cent following its annual meeting held today and CSL (ASX:CSL) edging 0.03 per cent lower, while its research and development day is also scheduled today.

Heavyweight miners are leading the declines, with BHP (ASX:BHP) down 1.8 per cent on lower iron ore production results, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) down 3 per cent and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) down 2.1 per cent. The prices of iron ore are trading 0.7 per cent lower. 

Local economic news

The Reserve Bank said the Delta outbreak of Covid-19 disrupted the economic recovery, however, expects the setback to be transitory amid the rising vaccination rates. The central bank said that the December quarter would see the country return to growth at a slower pace when compared to last year and early this year. The Board’s view of keeping interest rates at record will continue until 2024. For the full minutes, click here.

The weekly consumer confidence from ANZ and Roy Morgan was released this morning. Consumer Confidence was up for the sixth straight week, up by 1.4 points to 107 in mid-October. However, consumer confidence remains below the 2021 weekly average of 108.3 but is now 8.9 points higher than the same week a year ago, October 17/18, 2020 (98.1).

Consumer confidence this week was up in Sydney following the end of the city’s 106-day lockdown and also increased in Melbourne with the news that the lockdown would soon be ending, and in Brisbane after that city avoided a lockdown despite concerns about a handful of cases.

Driving this week’s small increase was increasing confidence about the year ahead with more Australians expecting to be ‘better off’ this time next year and more Australians expecting ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next year.

Company news

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) reported a softer iron ore output while reassuring investors that the merger with Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) is going ahead. The news was underpinned by the financial year 2022 guidance remaining unchanged.

Stockland (ASX:SGP) maintained momentum in its residential and commercial sales during the September quarter (Q122) while reconfirming its FY22 guidance, despite ongoing Covid-19 disruptions.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 1.7 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Materials, down 0.9 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Uniti Group (ASX:UWL), trading 3.8 per cent higher at $4.07. It is followed by shares in Nearmap (ASX:NEA) and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW), trading 4.5 per cent lower at $4.84. It is followed by shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Platinum Asset Management (ASX:PTM).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1767.50 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.7 per cent lower at US$124.32 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.25 US cents.

Investor event

Please join us for our next online investor event on Tuesday 26 October with six companies presenting. From lithium explorers to marketing service providers. Make your way to fnn.com.au to reserve your free online spot.