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The Australian share market managed to hold on to a third winning session for the week after a steady day gave way to a tumultuous final hour of trade.

Our ASX 200 index started off with a bang, touching back into the 6000s just before lunchtime. However, as we approached the last hour before the weekend close, things quickly turned south and dipped momentarily into the red. From there, the index danced around the grey line until finally settling a marginal 0.1 per cent higher, gaining 6 points to close at 5942.60.

This week saw positive trading updates from the likes of Nick Scali, Adairs, and Joyce Corporation which revealed big surges in customer numbers and increased sales over May and June — suggesting the economy is continuing its speedy recovery after our COVID-19-induced lockdowns.

As such, the consumer discretionary sector led the gains for most of the day, up as much as 2.71 per cent before lunchtime. While the sector shaved off some of its wins, Nick Scali still closed a healthy 19.65 per cent higher, Adairs gained 10.53 per cent, and Joyce Corporation gained 12.25 per cent. Dominoes Pizza closed 6.25 per cent higher.

Tech stocks closed as the pick of the litter today, led by WiseTech’s 7.78 per cent incline. Altium gained 6.57 per cent, NEXTDC gained 4.22 per cent, and Appen gained 4.12 per cent. Tech sector poster boy, Afterpay, gained just 1.47 per cent, but it was still enough to reach a new all-time high share price of $58.69.

Meanwhile, a mixed day for our big banking stocks led to a marginal decline on the financials sector. Westpac’s 0.44 per cent gain was not enough to offset the losses from the other big four. Commonwealth Bank gave back 0.48 per cent, NAB 0.59 per cent, and ANZ 1.73 per cent.

As for the other pillar of our market, the materials sector was a drag today. Our big iron ore players, BHP, Fortescue Metals, and Rio Tinto, each lost between 1.36 per cent and 1.91 per cent today. Gold stocks helped fight off the worst of the declines, however, with Newcrest up 0.17 per cent and Northern Star up 0.39 per cent by market close. While Evolution Mining and Regis Resources lost 0.94 per cent and 0.20 per cent, respectively, Saracen closed 3.51 per cent higher.

As for our neighbours to the east, Asian indexes were green across the board today. When the ASX closed for the weekend, the Asia Dow was 0.37 per cent higher, the Nikkei 225 0.55 per cent higher, and the Hang Seng 0.99 per cent higher.

The Australian dollar is slightly up, currently worth 68.66 US cents, 55.13 pence, and 11.95 South African Rand.

Today’s ups and downs

Junior gold explorer Cardinal Resources (ASX:CDV) soared today after receiving an all-cash takeover offer from Shandong Gold at 60 cents per share. The offer price is a nifty 75.5 per cent premium to Cardinal’s 20-day volume-weighted average price. The company’s Directors unanimously recommended shareholders vote yes in the deal, and shares surged ahead today to meet the offer price. CDV shares closed 27.69 per cent higher at 60 cents each.

As for today’s losers list, Clean TeQ (ASX:CLQ) slumped after a disappointing project update for its Sunrise project. The company has been seeking financing for the project for quite some time but has been unable to lock in any deals. With shareholders having to wait longer, some are throwing in the towel. CLQ shares closed 14.29 per cent at 15 cents per share.

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