ASX books another round of gains – Eyes look to December U.S. job numbers next

January 8, 2021 - 2 weeks ago
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The Australian share market booked another round of gains on Friday, following Wall Street led after the Dow rallied, the S&P 500 breaks into 3800 territory, and the rich-tech Nasdaq Composite clears the 13,000 hurdle.

At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rallied +45.90 points or +0.68%, to 6,757.90, while the All Ordinaries advanced +43.70 points, or +0.63% to settle at 7,024.20.

The bullish sentiment strengthened after Congress confirmed Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election and Jon Ossoff was declared the winner of a Georgia runoff election, tipping control of the Senate to Democrats.

Shortly after Congress certified his loss, President Trump issued a statement saying there will be an “orderly transition on January 20th.”

Trump still claims falsely that he won, having appeared to excuse the violent occupation of the Capitol by his supporters.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Trump’s immediate removal from office through the 25th Amendment.

President-elect Joe Biden accused Trump of fomenting violence and said Wednesday was one of the darkest days in U.S. history.

Investors anticipate the Biden administration, and a Democrat-controlled Congress will deliver more stimulus spending to help the US economy overcome a steep pandemic-induced downturn.

Although the minors were weaker on Friday, however, it displayed a stellar performance for the week, as the price of iron ore rose through $US170 a tonne.

BHP Group led the titans higher after climbing +10%, to $46.67, Rio Tinto advanced +8.9%, to $124.01 and Fortescue Metals Group rose firmly by +8.2%, to $25.34.

All three minors hit record highs during the week.

Lynas Rare Earths surged +15.6%, to $4.60, IGO added +13.6%, to $7.25, OZ Minerals climbed +11.3%, to $21.02 and Mineral Resources gained +8.1%, to $40.48.

The Financial sector lifted the Index once again with Westpac Banking Corp leading the “Fab Four” (banks) higher by +1.45%, to $20.28, National Australia Bank rose +1.35%, to $23.35, Commonwealth Bank climbed +1.24%, to $85.63, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group added +0.85%, to $23.84, and Macquarie Group rallied +1.81% and settled to $140.95.

As for our oil and gas producers, Woodside Petroleum advanced +1.89%, to $24.81, Santos firmed +0.43% to $6.98, Oil Search added +2.64%, to $4.27, Origin Energy climbed +1.19%, to $5.12 and Beach Energy rose +1.06%, to $1.92.

Buy now, pay later Afterpay rallied +6.57%, to $116.00, WiseTech fell -0.42%, to $28.47, Computershare lost -1.62%, to $13.97, and Xero rose +1.48%, to $142.61.

Biotechnology giant CSL added +1.91% to $280.25, while ResMed rose +1.56% to $27.42, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare advanced +0.96%, to $30.58, while Cochlear climbed +1.5% to $182.24 and Mesoblast ended down -0.88%, to $2.24.

After a tumultuous start to 2021, market participants are now awaiting a comprehensive December jobs report, which is expected on Friday.

The December Non-Farm Payroll is expected to show that the country added just 60K new positions in the month, although the unemployment rate is foreseen steady at 6.8%.

Average hourly earnings are expected to have grown by a modest 0.2% MoM

Meanwhile, our local currency, the Australian dollar is currently buying US$0.7786 (as of writing).

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