Whispers of fresh US economic stimuli set investor sentiment back to “buy” mode as Wall Street rebounded with some pace.
The US Federal Reserve stepped in to calm Wall Street overnight when it announced it would be expanding its market support to ease credit conditions. The result was a sudden turn-around as the Dow Jones and S&P 500 swung from red to green.
This meant things were looking promising for Aussie stocks this morning, and investors delivered. Our benchmark ASX 200 index soared within minutes of opening and closed 3.89 per cent higher at 5942.30 points, taking back almost two full days of losses.
It was bright green across every market sector today.
Interestingly, despite a fairly dull day for oil prices, our energy sector surged ahead as today’s pick of the litter. Viva Energy Group flexed an impressive 15.46 per cent gain, while WorleyParsons gained 8.26 per cent and Oil Search gained 8.57 per cent. Woodside tacked on 3.57 per cent and Santos 5.01 per cent.
Meanwhile, tech stocks were right on energy’s tail as Afterpay gained another 10.48 per cent to a fresh all-time high. The buy now, pay later darling has now stacked on 535 per cent since its mid-March slump, with shares priced at $56.52. WiseTech gained 6.03 per cent, Computershare 3.61 per cent, and Xero 3.84 per cent.
Discretionary stocks joined the reversal after a sad two days. Today, Retail conglomerate Wesfarmers gained 3.56 per cent and Aristocrat Leisure 8.47 per cent. Tabcorp closed 6.75 per cent higher, and JB Hi-Fi put on 5.79 per cent.
As for our big market movers, banking giants restarted their surge after a few days of rest. Today, ANZ led the charge with a 4.45 per cent incline, while Commonwealth’s 4.21 per cent rise was close behind. NAB gained 4.14 per cent and Westpac 4.09 per cent.
Fortescue Metals topped iron ore giants with a 4.06 per cent gain. BHP gained 2.92 per cent and Rio Tinto 2.78 per cent. As for our gold miners, Perseus Mining gained 8.44 per cent, but Saracen just missed out with a 0.85 per cent loss. Newcrest gained 2.08 per cent, Northern Star gained 1.13 per cent, and Regis Resources gained 2.55 per cent.
Asian markets were having just as happy a day today. When the ASX closed, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was a healthy 4.88 per cent higher. The Asia Dow was higher by 3.41 per cent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng by 2.89 per cent.
The Aussie dollar is stronger against the US dollar but weaker against the Pound sterling today. Currently, one dollar buys 69.20 US cents, 54.73 pence, and 11.85 South African Rand.
Today’s ups and downs
Cancer treatment company Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) soared after reporting some impressive results from a Phase II clinical trial of its bisantrene drug, designed to treat patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukaemia. The trial showed a hefty 40 per cent response rate in trial patients who had been unresponsive to three prior therapies on average. Shares in RAC closed 52.38 per cent higher at 48 cents each.
Meanwhile, water treatment specialist Phoslock Environmental Technologies (ASX:PET) missed out on the happy day after downgrading its 2020 revenue guidance. The company dropped its guidance from between $50 million and $70 million to between $30 million and $40 million as new waves of COVID-19 in China and the States are expected to potentially cause project delays. Phoslock shares closed 18.68 per cent lower, worth 37 cents each.