Healthy gains all around as ASX closes strong

Settling tensions between the United States and Iran saw Wall Street spike and set the ASX up for a record close.

The ASX 200 surged 56.6 points to close at 6874.20 points — 10 points above its previous all-time closing high of 6864 from November last year.

The Australian market was only dragged down by the energy sector as a drop in oil prices caused some declines in energy's big caps. After a week of solid gains, Woodside lost 1.49 per cent today, Santos 0.22 per cent, and Origin 0.8 per cent. Oil Search, which hit an 11-month high share price yesterday, declined 1.77 per cent.

While the finance sector closed green, big banks were mixed. Commonwealth Bank was the pick of the litter with a 0.64 per cent increase, while ANZ gained 0.12 per cent. NAB just scraped through with a 0.04 per cent gain but Westpac lost 0.29 per cent.

Nevertheless, the heavily-weighted mining stocks helped push the ASX up further. BHP gained 1.16 per cent and Rio Tinto gained 1.32 per cent. Iron ore producer Fortescue Metals gained for the first time since Monday after founder and mining magnate Andrew Forrest announced a $70 million donation to those affected by the ongoing bushfire crisis.

Only Newcrest put a damper on the sector, declining 2.53 per cent to close with shares worth $31.19.

Tech stocks were the best performers on the market today, with nine of the top 10 stocks by market cap posting some healthy gains. Xero gained 1.87 per cent, Computershare 1.34 per cent, and Afterpay 1.63 per cent. WiseTech outperformed with a 3.97 per cent gain.

Health care also had gains all-around with CSL and Cochlear rising 1.84 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively, and Ramsay and Sonic Healthcare enjoying 1.26 and 0.91 per cent respective gains.

The doused war fears between the US and Iran helped global markets see consistent green. In Europe, London's Footsie gained a slight 0.1 per cent, while the Frankfurt DAX tacked on 93.35 points with a 0.71 per cent rise.

Asian markets were painted green too. When the ASX closed, the Asia Dow had gained 1.39 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng followed suit with a 1.06 per cent rise, and Japan's Nikkei 225 added on over 500 points in one session with a 2.18 per cent rise.

As for currencies, the Aussie dollar rose slightly and now buys 68.71 US cents, 52.4 pence, and 204.44 Hungarian forint

Today's ups and downs

Small-cap virtual reality specialist Vection Technologies gained nearly 30 per cent at one point today after signing a $500,000 contract with dental specialist D&D. The contract will see Vection create a virtual dental training world. In this world, dentists can practise complex procedures like root canals and extractions with severely reduced costs. Shares were at a 28.57 per cent premium at market close and worth 2.7 cents each.

On a day like today, it's hard to find significant "bad news" stories. However, even good news in the world of energy was not able to overcome the oil price drop. Woodside's 1.49 per cent dip was despite the company gaining approval from the Senegalese Government for its Sangoomar field development joint venture.

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