The Australian share market teased its first day of back-to-back gains in almost three weeks before giving in to losses from the financials sector.
A morning rally was underpinned by a surge in gold stocks as the spot price of the precious metal surged further into record territory. Gold hit over US$1977 per ounce overnight, spurred by a softening US dollar.
In response, the ASX 200 index tacked on over 67 points in early action, supported by solid gains from the All Ordinaries Gold Index. However, the market had to fight our falling banking stocks to stay above the grey line. As such, when the US dollar rose, the price of gold retreated slightly, and the ASX 200 gave up its gains to close 0.39 per cent lower at 6020.5 points.
This is now the 15th day of consecutive reversals on the ASX.
While the materials sector managed to stay green, some of our best-performing gold stocks pulled back from record highs to close in the red. Perseus Mining closed 1.27 per cent lower, Silver Lake lost 3.38 per cent, and Northern Star declined 1.12 per cent. Newcrest just managed to hold on to the green and close 0.11 per cent up.
Meanwhile, our iron ore giants did their best to steady the market as Fortescue Metals gained 3.18 per cent to close at a new record-high $16.89. BHP gained 1.74 per cent and Rio Tinto gained 1.19 per cent.
Nevertheless, the resource wins weren’t enough to offset a 0.74 per cent fall on the financials sector. Among our big four banks, Westpac had the toughest day as it lost 1.47 per cent. ANZ lost 0.88 per cent, Commonwealth Bank lost 0.39 per cent, and NAB lost 0.28 per cent. Macquarie Group lost 1.6 per cent.
After staging an impressive recovery from the COVID-19 mid-March slump, the tech sector declined for the fourth time in five sessions today. Afterpay lost 2.42 per cent, Xero lost 1.32 per cent, and WiseTech lost 1.1 per cent. Computershare closed grey.
Taking a look across the Pacific, most Asian indexes are sitting green with the exception of Japan’s Nikkei 225, which is a slim 0.26 per cent lower. The Asia Dow is currently up by 0.19 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng by 0.39 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite by 0.39 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Aussie dollar has depreciated slightly since lunchtime but is still stronger compared to yesterday. Currently, one dollar buys 71.33 US cents, 55.49 pence, and 11.75 South African Rand.
Today’s ups and downs
While much of the gold subsector gave up wins in the second half of the day, junior explorer Chesser Resources (ASS:CHZ) kept its gains strong after releasing some solid results from drilling at its Diamba Sud project in Senegal. The impressive hits included a 48-metre intersection grading 6.7 grams per tonne of gold from 14 metres. Shares in Chesser soared today, gaining 152.38 per cent to close worth 26.5 cents each.
On the other side of the spectrum, Blue Star Helium (ASX:BNL) slumped today after telling shareholders they’re in for a four-month wait for a new drilling program in the US. The company still needs to submit some application forms in order to drill in Colorado and it seems investors are running out of patience. Shares in Blue Star fell 27.78 per cent today to close worth 1.3 cents each.