A rebound from our banking stocks and a resurgence in the price of oil helped the Aussie share market recoup all of yesterday’s losses and then some.
US index futures ignited the spark this morning, while the rise in oil teamed up with an address from Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help fan the flame.
In his address, the Prime Minister touted the importance of the government COVIDSafe app, which has already been downloaded almost three million times. Mr Morrison said Australia is “not too far away” from easing some quarantine restrictions.
Investors seemed happy to ignore the other side of the Prime Minister’s address in which he said international travel will not be back any time soon and that “millions and millions” more people need to download COVIDSafe for the app to be truly effective.
Instead, punters focussed on the good news, and the ASX 200 index tacked on 1.51 per cent to close at 5393.40 points — its highest point in over a week.
The energy sector led the charge today as the oil price hike brought about a much-needed recovery. Woodside gained 5.95 per cent, Santos 6.35 per cent, and Origin Energy 4.5 per cent. WorleyParsons stole the show with a 9.26 per cent increase.
Supporting our oilers was our financials sector, which closed green for the first time since last week Wednesday. The sector put on 3.88 per cent to take back all of the week’s lost ground. NAB was the pick of the litter today after seeing some nasty declines this week following the announcement of its $3.5 billion capital raising.
Today, NAB gained 6.33 per cent, ANZ gained 6.11 per cent, Westpac gained 5.16 per cent, and Commonwealth Bank gained 4.2 per cent.
The other pillar of our market, the materials sector, added its weight to the wins despite some mixed results among its top performers. While BHP gained 2.07 per cent and Fortescue gained 2.44 per cent, Rio Tinto lost 0.29 per cent. Gold miner Newcrest Mining lost 1.08 per cent.
Speaking of our gold miners, the “safe haven” stocks performed inversely to the rest of the market, as has come to be expected. Northern Star lost 2.26 per cent, Evolution 0.76 per cent, and Saracen Mineral Holdings 0.88 per cent.
Similarly, health care stocks were a drag on the market today. Hearing aid specialist Cochlear fell 1.71 upon opening the retail proponent of its own plan to raise some backup capital. CSL lost 1.44 per cent, while Fisher and Paykel Healthcare declined 4.45 per cent.
It was mostly green over to the east, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 the only loser of the major Asian indexes. While the Japanese index declined 0.06 per cent, the Asia Dow was 0.7 per cent higher and the Hang Seng 0.07 per cent higher when the ASX closed for the day.
Our local currency is stronger today, too. One Aussie dollar currently buys 65.41 US cents, 52.40 pence, and 12.12 South African Rand.
Today’s ups and downs
Recruitment and building services specialist The GO2 People (ASX:GO2) remained the day’s top gainer after a stellar quarterly report. The company reported its first-ever back-to-back cashflow-positive quarters, much to shareholder delight. While receipts dipped slightly, some prudent spending cutbacks meant the company earned more than it spent over March 2020. Shares closed 170.59 per cent higher at 4.6 cents each.
Meanwhile, some disappointing drill results kept Kalamazoo Resources (ASX:KZR) down in the dumps. Testing of the company’s Mustang prospect in Victoria fell flat and the company’s focus has now moved on to other prospective areas at its Castlemaine Gold Project. Shares closed 20.59 per cent lower at 40.5 cents each today.