ASX gets its spark back even though tech stocks slide

February 23, 2021 - 3 days ago
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The Australian sharemarket picked up its pace from the opening session even though technology stocks were hit hard locally and on Wall Street.

At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose to +58.3 points, or +0.86%, to 6,839.2, while the All Ordinaries added to +49.2 points, or +0.70%, to 7,110.8.

Energy, Real Estate, Materials, Industrials and Financials kept the index above the waterline while Information Technology plunged -4.06%.

U.S. technology shares booked steep losses on Monday as inflation concerns weighed on the once high-flying growth names.

Investors’ concerns are growing to the rapid rising in Treasury yields in recent weeks as they could especially hurt high-growth companies reliant on easy borrowing while diminishing the relative appeal of stocks.

Many on Wall Street still believe that the jump in bond yields reflects a sign of growing confidence in the economic recovery, and stocks should absorb higher rates amid strong earnings.

Since the start of February 10-year yields are up about 27 basis points, on pace for their largest monthly gain in three years, with Monday’s close, up at 1.37%.

The 30-year yield touched a one-year high of 2.2% Monday. A basis point is 0.01%.

On another big day of results, Seek fell -7.1%, to $28.19, while the buy now pay later stocks also hit with Afterpay plummeted -7.2%, to $138.46, Zip fell -3.4%, to $11.96, and Sezzle fell -6.6%, to $10.55.

Jumbo Interactive fell -7%, to $13.48 and Nearmap dropped -6.1%, to $2.46.
COVID-19 winners Domino’s Pizza, Temple & Webster and Nick Scali all declined.

Domino’s dropped -8.9%, to $95.67, Temple & Webster declined -7.7%, to $9.94 and Nick Scali slipped -4.5%, to $10.60.

Miners were firm with BHP Group leading the titans higher after advancing +3.13%, to $50.43, Rio Tinto rose +1.77%, to $133.00, while Fortescue Metals Group climbed +0.4%, to $24.84, South32 added +3.26%, to $2.85 and Mineral Resources slipped -0.13%, to settle at $39.58.

Gold resources were firm, with Newcrest Mining climbing +4.39% to $25.44, Northern Star added +1.69%, to $10.85, and Evolution rallied +1.18%, to $4.30.

The Financials sector were firmer, with Westpac Banking Corp leading the “Fab Four” banks higher after rising +1.85%, to $24.16, Commonwealth Bank rose +1.7%, to $83.29, while Australia and New Zealand Banking Group added +1.17%, to $26.81, National Australia Bank gained +1.14%, to $24.85, and Macquarie Group rose +0.83% and settled at $148.37.

Travel stocks were firmer with Webjet surging +2.79%, to $5.52, with Flight Centre rallying +6.22%, to $16.56, Qantas firmed +4.36%, to $5.03, Regional Express, meanwhile, slipped -2.65%, to $1.655 and Corporate Travel Management jumped +9.82%, to $20.80.

Healthcare was weaker, with Biotechnology giant CSL eked out +0.06%, to $267.96, while ResMed rose +0.36%, to $25.33, Cochlear fell -1.37%, to $217.36, Ramsay Health added +1.79%, to $63.26 and Mesoblast climbed +1.54%, to $2.60.

Wesfarmers finished -3.23%, lower to $50.93, while Woolworths saw its share price end the trading session weaker -0.08%, to $39.09 while its rival Coles Group lost -1.18%, to $15.91.

Bitcoin remained volatile after plummeting from $55,027.9 to an intraday low at $48,522.7, while our local currency, the Australian dollar, is currently buying US$0.7918 (as of writing).

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