Aussie investors seem to have come off the long weekend on a high, shaking off a weak night on Wall Street and some bleak daily news to send the ASX up.
Despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average reversing 1.39 per cent overnight, the ASX pulled out of a morning slump to close green for the third time in five sessions.
Our benchmark ASX 200 index gained 1.87 per cent to hit 5488.10 points by market close — its highest point since mid-March.
Interestingly, this comes despite a day of profit warnings, analyst downgrades, dividend deferrals, and capital raises as the COVID-19 crisis continues to wreak havoc on the short-term economic outlook.
Perhaps Australian investors are looking to a prospective horizon, or perhaps they’re simply becoming so accustomed to bad news that it’s lost the weight it once had.
The technology sector was today’s pick of the litter, carried by another huge share price run from Afterpay. The buy now, pay later darling reported a strong quarter of sales despite the coronavirus pandemic and shares soared 29.09 per cent higher. Computershare gained 4.44 per cent and Xero 1.22 per cent.
Gold stocks shone as the price of gold surged ahead once more. Newcrest gained 12.40 per cent, Northern Star Resources 14.07 per cent, and Evolution Mining 9.25 per cent.
The rest of our heavyweight materials sector followed gold’s lead. BHP gained 0.51 per cent, Fortescue 2.03 per cent, and Rio Tinto 1.61 per cent.
Finance stocks urged upward despite a warning from Westpac that first-half profits will be weakened by COVID-19. Commonwealth Bank gained 1.60 per cent, Westpac 1.94 per cent, NAB 2.86 per cent, and ANZ 1.45 per cent.
The only sector to miss out, unfortunately, was the recently-established real estate sector. As shopping centres stay closed across the country, the sector continues to sag. Scentre Group lost 0.48 per cent, Vicinity Centres 3.19 per cent, and Goodman Group 2.67 per cent.
It was green for our neighbours to the east as Asian markets rose. When the ASX closed for the day, the Asia Dow was 1.79 per cent higher, Japan’s Nikkei 225 3.13 per cent higher, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.82 per cent higher.
The Aussie dollar is slightly higher today, currently worth 64 US cents, 50.99 pence, and 11.56 South African Rand.
Today’s ups and downs
Junior explorer Mandrake Resources (ASX:MAN) was among today’s biggest winners after signing a farm-in agreement with Andean Energy Resources. Mandrake will spend $140,000 to grab a majority interest in the Jimperding Project in Western Australia. Shares surged 76.92 per cent higher on the news, closing worth 2.3 cents a pop.
Meanwhile, Dacian Gold (ASX:DCN) is part of the growing list of companies raising cash at hefty discounts to keep afloat amidst the pandemic. The company raised $70 million at 30 cents per share, which is more than 75 per cent cheaper than the company’s last close of $1.40. Shares reopened from a long trading halt today to promptly nosedive 67.86 per cent to 45 cents each.