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ASX to lift as US tech stocks jump


ASX stronger, Greensill risk expands, Vocus (ASX:VOC) deal confirmed 

The ASX200 finished 0.5% higher in a mixed day for the market, with the IT and materials sectors remaining the primary drags on performance.

The industrials sector which includes a number of infrastructure and more cyclical companies was the highlight, adding 1.1% with the likes of Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) and Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) bouncing on signs the Federal Government has switched its focus to opening international borders once again.

  • It was a rollercoaster day for shareholders in Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) with shares trading as much as 10% lower on speculation that the company could be on the shelf for insurance payouts on Greensill-backed bonds.

    The claims made by short-seller John Hempton of Bronte Capital were quickly refuted by management noting they have ‘no net exposure’ to the trade credit insurance policies mentioned; shares finished 4.0% lower despite the announcement.

    Shares in the leading active ETF manufacturer Mainstream Group Holdings (ASX:MAI) jumped 10.4% after announcing the company would be acquired by Vistra Group for $1.20 per share or $170.8 million.

    Vocus (ASX:VOC) finally sold, business confidence improving, Cleanaway (ASX:CWY) facing hurdles

    It appears the takeover of telecommunications provider Vocus (ASX:VOC) is finally set to be realised after what seems like a multitude of offers in recent years.

    Management has entered into a formal transaction with Macquarie Group’s (ASX:MQG) Infrastructure and Real Asset division, called MIRA, in a $3.5 billion deal that values the company at $5.50 per share; the stock finished 8.6% higher.

    The National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) released their latest monthly business survey in February showing a rise in business confidence to the highest level since 2010; it would be interesting to know how many hospitality or tourism businesses were surveyed.

    Cleanaway (ASX:CWY) is likely to face significant hurdles in its flagged bid for Suez’s Australian waste disposal business, with major competitor Veolia suggesting French regulators are likely to pan the idea; shares fell 1.3%.

    The break up of AMP Capital continues apace, with the global equities division sold to Canadian Fiera Capital, with questions remaining around what the value of the remaining business will be; shares increased 2.5% on the news.

    ‘Buying the dip’ sends Nasdaq up most in 12 months, Disney+ hits 100 million, Tesla (NYSE:TSLA) production soars

    The ASX is set for another strong day on Wednesday after the Nasdaq 100 recorded its best result in 12 months, jumping 4.0% in a single session as traders bought the dip following the 10% correction in the tech sector.

    According to analysis, as many as a quarter of all Nasdaq stocks were up over 5% on the day lead by Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) which jumped 19.6% breaking a five day losing streak.

    The rally coincided with a slowdown in the recent bond rate moves and the soon-to-be-stamped stimulus package.

    Tesla jumped on news that electric vehicle sales in China rose more than sevenfold on the same period 12 months ago but fell 38% from January levels.

    Walt Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) streaming service also appears to be winning the content war with management reporting the platform had surpassed 100 million paid subscribers in 2021, shares fell 3.7% despite the news.

    One particularly interesting piece of news overnight was the success of a number of vaccines in combatting the Brazilian strain of the Coronavirus, which should offer greater hope of a return to international travel.

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