Fresh news of COVID-19’s long term grip on the Australian economy saw the ASX pare back a mid-morning revival today.
While an early slump was set to put a dampener on a new week of trade, the market rallied before noon to spike into the green.
At the top end of town, big financial, material and healthcare stocks banded together to keep the green run going. But it wasn’t enough to pull out any more significant jumps.
Ultimately, an announcement from the RBA that the coronavirus had shifted consumer mentality — causing long-lasting economic impacts — triggered a midday reversal.
Today, our benchmark ASX 200 just managed to claw it’s way back to an incremental gain. The index closed just 0.03 per cent green to hit 5945 points.
Over on the All Ordinaries, however, it was a different story. The index slumped 0.06 per cent to finish at 6058 points.
By the bell, just three sectors closed green. The market pillars — our materials and financials sectors — delivered 1.75 and 0.45 gains respectively. Meanwhile, healthcare stocks just managed to clinch a green finish with a 0.02 per cent rise.
Despite a mixed day on the market, the big four banks all finished up. ANZ led the charge with a 1.39 per cent rise. CBA followed close behind with a 1.25 per cent spike, while NAB and WBC finished on 0.7 and 0.44 respective gains.
On the back of today’s RBA announcement, it was technology and discretionary stocks which fared the worst.
Corporate Travel Management was among today’s losers, with an eight per cent decline on the market. Qantas also failed to fight the travel bug, finishing 4.12 per cent down.
In infotech, payment platforms led the bleed — many with double-digit losses. Simultaneously, major buy now, pay later proponent Afterpay suffered a 1.28 per cent loss.
In commodities, gold maintained its green run with a 0.6 increase, while oil was hit with a 0.55 fall. And at market close, the Aussie dollar is worth 68.6 US cents, 55.4 British pence and 9538 Indonesian Rupiah.
Today’s ups and downs
Austal (ASX:ASB) took the cake today on the ASX 200 today with a US$50 million (around A$73 million) cash injection from the Pentagon. In a new agreement, the US Government is set to provide the shipbuilder with capital to construct new Alabama-based building sheds. Following the announcement, Austal became the top gainer on our benchmark index. The industrial stock closed 9.52 per cent higher to hit $3.68 each.
Meanwhile, also on the ASX 200, Altium (ASX:ALU) suffered a 7.59 per cent hit to close at $33.60 per share. The software company warned of downgrades to its revenue target, preparing shareholders for a slump in its EOFY figures. Simultaneously, Altium announced the lockdown of its Beijing branch amid fears of a second coronavirus wave in the Chinese capital.