Has the ASX lost its spark?

February 22, 2021 - 4 days ago
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The Australian sharemarket picked up from Friday’s decline and posted its fourth bearish session after Friday’s lacklustre session on Wall Street.

At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell from -12.9 points, or -0.19%, to 6,780.9, while the All Ordinaries slid to -2.4 points, or -0.03%, to 7,061.6.

Materials were the only sector in positive territory after chalking up a healthy gain of +2.58%.

Going into overdrive, Rio Tinto leading the titans higher after advancing +3.63%, to $127.74, BHP Group rose +3.34%, to $48.90, while Fortescue Metals Group climbed +3.21%, to $24.74, South32 added +2.99%, to $2.76 and Mineral Resources surged +4.87%, to settle at $39.63.

Gold resources were firm, with Newcrest Mining climbing +0.54% to $24.37, Northern Star added +2.79%, to $10.67, and Evolution rallied +2.91%, to $4.25.

The Financials sector was deep in negative territory, with National Australia Bank leading the “Fab Four” banks lower, after falling -2.15%, to $24.57, Westpac Banking Corp dropped -1.54%, to $23.72, Commonwealth Bank lost -0.74%, to $81.90, while Australia and New Zealand Banking Group slipped -0.41%, to $26.50, and Macquarie Group rose +3.44% and settled at $147.15.

Buy now, pay later Afterpay fell -1.8%, and settled at $149.19, while Xero lost -1.01%, to $123.44, WiseTech Global declined -2.36%, to $30.56 and Zip Co Ltd added -0.24%, to $12.38.

Travel stocks were firmer with Webjet surging +8.92%, to $5.37, with Flight Centre rallying +7.15%, to $15.59, Qantas firmed +4.33%, to $4.82, Regional Express, meanwhile, slipped -3.68%, to $1.70 and Corporate Travel Management jumped +8.29%, to $18.94.

Healthcare was weaker, with Biotechnology giant CSL plunged -2.42%, to $267.79, while ResMed lost -2.21%, to $25.24, Cochlear fell -0.59%, to $220.38, Ramsay Health slid -0.02%, to $62.15 and Mesoblast ended flat at $2.60.

Wesfarmers finished -2.56%, lower to $52.63, while Woolworths saw its share price end the trading session weaker -1.01%, to $39.12 while its rival Coles Group lost -1.89%, to $16.10.

Bitcoin remained volatile after hitting an intraday high at $57,633.39, while our local currency, the Australian dollar, is currently buying US$0.7885 (as of writing).

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