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ASX rallies 0.9% on tech, BNPL, health gains


Strong day for the ASX, private equity buys into Challenger, NSW lockdowns continue 

Every sector barring energy and industrials finished higher on Wednesday, with the ASX 200 jumping 0.9%.

Buy now pay later groups were among the top performers, with Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) and Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) adding 6.5% and 4.5%, respectively.

  • Challenger Financial Group (ASX: CGF) was the top performer on Wednesday, jumping over 8% after disclosing that global retirement income specialist Athene Holding in combination with private equity firm Apollo Global Management had acquired a 15% to 18% stake in the group.

    According to the announcement, they ‘share the same mission – to provide customers with financial security for retirement’. Either way, it is a positive step for this underappreciated Australian leader.

    Seven Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SVW) is seemingly getting a steal in Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) with the group amassing a 34.5% stake over the last 12 months without paying a premium price.

    Analysts suggest it has been a masterclass by the Stokes family in gaining control over a business struggling for direction.

    Magellan AUM up $7 billion, CleanSpace struggles, e-commerce booming for mydeal.com.au

    Magellan Financial Group’s (ASX: MFG) investment in Barrenjoey seems to be gaining traction with the group apparently behind the block trade for Challenger mentioned above.

    The group reported a $7 billion increase in assets under management for the June quarter, all of which came from performance with $351 million in outflows following a weak period of performance.

    Recent listee MyDeal (ASX: MYD) delivered record sales of $218 million, an 111% increase on the prior financial year, with active customers hitting 894k, an 83% increase.

    Pandemic beneficiary CleanSpace Holdings Ltd (ASX: CSX) fell over 10% after announcing it was hit by difficult trading conditions in the second half of the financial year, with an oversupply of disposable markets impacting on its sales.

    The company now expects second-half revenue of $10.2 million, down from $39.7 million in the first half; an example of why extrapolating short-term trends is fraught with risks.

    Finally, the listing of olive oil producer, Cobram Estate, has been pulled after it struggled to gain bidders at the preferred price.

    Samsung reports, China piles on pressure, jobs gap in the US

    Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed at new all-time highs overnight, up 0.01% and 0.3%, respectively, with Apple Inc (NYSE: AAPL) continuing its stellar run, hitting a valuation of US$2.4 trillion.

    The positive sentiment came from the Fed’s minutes which noted the strength of the recovery and that bond purchasing may be slowed in response.

    Yet the employment side is offering mixed messages, with job openings hitting a record of 9.21 million in May, but hiring actually falling, suggesting the economy is facing a similar issue with migrant workers as Australia.

    China is reportedly mulling the closure of a loophole that allows Chinese businesses like DiDi Global (NYSE: DIDI) to list on overseas markets as it seeks to control the most important businesses in the country.

    Electronics giant Samsung Electronics (KRX: 005930) flagged a 53% increase in second-quarter profit thanks to strong chip prices and a resumption of operations at a key US factory. The power of ‘growth’ remains on show.

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