Aussie shares stayed healthy for the third session in a row as investors ignore the thought of a looming recession.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed this morning that on the back of COVID-19 chaos, gross domestic product declined by 0.3 per cent over the first quarter of the year. Of course, the second quarter is where most of the lockdown damage has been done, meaning a technical recession is all but confirmed.
Still, with lockdown measures across Australia and New Zealand being lifted as the spread of the virus is stemmed, investors didn’t seem too caught up on a technicality.
Our benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index started strong and finished stronger, closing above 5900 points for the first time since March 10. By market close, the index had tacked on 1.83 per cent or 106.50 points to close at 5941.60.
The strong trading day was influenced by a happy night on Wall Street even as riots continue across the United States, spurred on by the murder of George Floyd in police custody. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 267.63 points overnight.
Down under, the financials sector carried our local share market yet again. Our big four were somewhat late to the rebound party, but last week made quite the entrance as they pushed the sector 13.1 per cent higher in five sessions. Today, the party continues.
ANZ led the posse with a 4.99 per cent gain, while the others trailed close behind. NAB closed 4.59 per cent higher, Westpac 4.36 per cent higher, and Commonwealth Bank 3.25 per cent higher.
More increases in the price of oil kept the energy sector happy, too. Woodside gained 2.62 per cent and Origin Energy 2.48 per cent. Santos and Oil Search showed off with 4.17 per cent and 5.23 per cent respective gains.
Some mixed results among our big resources players kept the materials sector subdued, however. The sector gained a marginal 0.63 per cent as losses among our gold stocks offset wins from our iron ore producers. BHP gained 2.63 per cent and Rio Tinto 0.46 per cent, while Fortescue Metals lost 0.48 per cent.
Meanwhile, Newcrest Mining lost 2.34 per cent, Northern Star lost 5.49 per cent, and Evolution lost 5.79 per cent. Perseus Mining declined by 12.31 per cent after launching an all-scrip takeover of junior West African gold miner Exore Resources. More on that below.
The only sector to close red today was health care. CSL lost 0.41 per cent and Fisher and Paykel lost 1.77 per cent. Cochlear and Sonic Healthcare’s 1.62 per cent and 1.35 per cent respective gains were not enough to offset the declines.
As for our neighbours to the east, it was green all ’round across the major Asian indexes. When the ASX closed shop for the day, the Asia Dow was up by 1.65 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei 225 up by 1.29 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was higher by 1.27 per cent.
The Aussie dollar is once again stronger today, currently worth 69.38 US cents, 55.13 pence, and 11.87 South African Rand.
Today’s ups and downs
Junior gold miner Exore Resouces (ASX:ERX) closed at a healthy premium after landing a takeover offer from Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU). Perseus’ all-scrip offer values Exore at $59.8 million, with shares worth 9.8 cents each under the deal. Exore shares gained 35.48 per cent to close worth 8.4 cents each.
Meanwhile, it would seem insiders have gotten the better of investment company Mariner Corporation (ASX:MCX), which lost more than two-thirds of its value today despite having released no news to shareholders since April. In the unexplained sell-off, Mariner shares lost 72.5 per cent to a 10-month low within the first four minutes of trade. Shares closed worth 2.2 cents each.