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ASX finishes higher on volatile day

Equities

ASX finishes higher on volatile day, US stimulus passed, Treasury Wine (ASX:TWE) now a takeover target

The ASX200 (ASX:XJO) rallied strongly on the Labour Day public holiday for Victorians, opening 1.7% higher but giving up gains during the session to finish a more modest 0.4% higher.

Much of the positive moves were driven by the materials sector, including BHP Group (ASX:BHP), up 2.6% and 1.6% respectively with news that the US$1.9 trillion stimulus package had passed the US Senate giving commodity prices another catalyst.

  • The BNPL sector remains under pressure with both Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) and Afterpay (ASX:APT) beginning the week where they left off, falling 6.7% and 3.6% respectively following news that Plenti (ASX:PLT) would also be entering the sector on Friday.

    Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) was one of the major highlights of the day, with speculation that global giant Pernod Ricard may be interested in bidding for the company, sending shares 8.2% higher.

    Santos’ (ASX:STO) Chinese owners sell, Mirae selling out of BetaShares, GDP upgrades all around

    ENN Group, a Chinese energy company among Santos’ (ASX:STO) largest shareholders confirmed today that their 107 million shares had been sold at a price of $7.33.

    Purchased several years ago amid a bidding frenzy for the struggling company, the company has also given up their board seat; shares finished 2.7% lower on the news.

    Outside of the ASXMirae Investments, a large financial services group based out of Korea today confirmed the sale of their controlling stake in fast-growing ETF issuer BetaShares to TA Associates.

    TA Associates is a well-known private equity firm, with previous investments including Yarra Capital and Invesco.

    In light of the strength of the December quarter GDP results, Westpac’s economists have upgraded their expectations for the Australian economy, now expecting 2021 growth of 4.5% rather than 4.0% predicted late last year.

    Management of data analysis firm Nuix Ltd (ASX:NXL) was forced to respond to rumours; confirming that the profit forecasts in their IPO Prospectus were still achievable and confirming their ‘sticky customer base’, but still fell another 6% on the news.

    Value rally continues, Chinese equity market & Nasdaq in correction mode

    At this rate, the decade-long underperformance of ‘value stocks’ could be reversed in just a few months.

    The tech sell off continued in the US overnight, with the Nasdaq falling another 2.4% and the S&P500 dragged down by the mega-cap names including Tesla (NYSE:TSLA), Apple (NYSE:AAPL), and Facebook (NYSE:FB).

    The Dow Jones, backed by the major banking and energy companies lead the way adding another 1.0%, whilst the S&P500 fell 0.5%. Tesla’s sell off has now reached 20% in just a few weeks.

    In what may be a precursor for the ASX, the Chinese equity market has entered a correction, falling 10% on similar valuation concerns despite the backdrop of a strong economy and targeted economic growth rate of 6% in 2021.


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