ASX 200 edges higher; financials recover, energy, utilities down


Australian shares edged higher on Monday as losses in energy and resources sector offset gains in IT, financial, consumer discretionary, and health care sector.

The energy sector reflected the losses in crude oil prices last week. Beach Energy plunged over 6% while Woodside Energy and Santos tumbled over 3.5% each. The financial sector also rebounded led by gains in all four major banks; Commonwealth Bank edged higher by 1.5%, NAB and Westpac added 1% each while ANZ advanced 1.5%.

As of 10:45 am AEST, the benchmark ASX 200 index was trading 9 points or 0.14% higher at 6,483.80. And the broader All Ords index was up 5.40 points at 6,668.70.

Wall Street shares closed mixed on Friday after a week of bloodletting following a massive 75 basis points rate rise and signals of weakening economy. The S&P 500 closed eight points or 0.22% higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 38 points or 0.13% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite settled 152 points or 1.43% higher. Commodities and gold fell sharply on demand worries.

For the entire last week, the S&P 500 shed 5.8%, its’ worst weekly loss since early 2020 while the Dow and Nasdaq Composite plunged 4.8% each. Worth mentioning here is that US markets are closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Also Read: GUD, SQ2, HUB: Three worst performers on ASX 200 last week

The energy sector in the US was significantly weak, down more than 5% as crude oil fell by a similar percentage. Tech stocks like Amazon, Meta, Apple and Tesla rose while travel stocks like Cruise lines Carnival and Norwegian pared part of the losses seen earlier in the week.

The Dow closed below the psychologically-crucial level of 30,000 for a second-straight day. The US stock benchmark saw losses in 11 of the last 12 weeks.

Worth mentioning here is that the ASX 200 has already fallen more than 10% in the last fortnight, and with all Wall Street indices being already in a bear market, investors probably hope worse is yet to come.

Top Gainers & Losers

Pointsbet (ASX: PBH) surged over 10% to become the top gainer on ASX 200 as it secured a AU$94.16 million investment from SIG Sports Investment Corp. Appen Ltd (ASX: APX), Mesoblast (ASX: MSB), Polynovo (ASX: PLV) and Harvey (ASX: HVN) were the other prominent gainers on the ASX.

Among other gainers, Vicinity Centres jumped over 4% after the company upgraded its earnings guidance for the financial year 2022.

Transurban jumped 2.5% after declaring 26¢ distribution per stapled security for the six months ending June 30.

Infomedia surged 7% to AU$1.59 after receiving a conditional non-binding indicative proposal from Solera to acquire the company for AU$1.70 a share.

Also Read: Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) upgrades FY22 guidance, shares gain

On the flip side, Bega Cheese (ASX: BGA) shed 7.70% to be the top loser in the ASX 200 followed by Beach Energy, which was down nearly 6% following Friday’s slump in crude prices. Paladin Energy, Silver Lake Resources and ST Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) were the other big losers, dropping between 3.7%-5.4%.





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