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Tech stocks send ASX soaring 0.8pc to seven-week high

Daily Market Update

Nasdaq rally, NZ travel bubble, merger activity sends market higher

The ASX200 (ASX:XJO) followed a strong US lead on Tuesday, adding 0.8% with the industrials and IT sectors the key drivers.

The risk-on mood boosted Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) by 10% and competitor Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) by 9.1% after what has been a difficult few months for the BNPL companies.

By far the biggest news was the announcement of a ‘travel bubble’ with New Zealand commencing in three weeks’ time.

According to the joint announcement, Australians will be able to travel across the ditch freely, subject to conditions, in what stands out as a boon to travel providers, in NZ at least.

The news sent shares of Qantas (ASX:QAN) and Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) up 3.1% and 8.2% respectively, with Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) and Webjet also rallying by over 4% respectively. There is now hope that similar deals could be made with our Asian neighbours.

The day trading seems to have lost one this week, with shares in Alaskan energy explorer 88 Energy (ASX:88E) leading the losers, falling 67.1% today on weaker than expected results, coming after a 100% rally last week.

Cleanaway jumps on offer, Incitec Pivot feels the pain, Job ads hit 12 year high, rates on hold

The Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates on hold at 0.1% once again, with the only change in commentary that they are ‘carefully’ watching the housing market.

The release noted that first home buyers rather than investors have been driving the rally. They also hinted at an extension to their already $200 billion quantitative easing program.

Cleanaway Ltd (ASX:CWY) leads the market today, jumping 15.9% after officially announcing their offer to purchase the local operations of competitor Suez for $2.5 billion.

Veolia has confirmed it will be challenging the offer as they seek to take over Suez’s parent company in France.

Fertiliser and explosives maker Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) is the latest mining services company to take a hit, announcing a $36 million fall in earnings as ammonia production in the US failed to keep up with expectations.

It was good news on the jobs front, as ANZ Job ads hit a 12-year high jumping 7.4% in March ahead of an expected 100-150,000 losing their jobs as JobKeeper ends.

US markets fall from records, Tesla production smashes expectations, slow trading day

US markets stagnated after a strong start to the week, with the Nasdaq finishing flat, the Dow Jones down 0.3%, and the S&P500 0.1% lower.

It was the slowest trading day of the year with very limited volume as investors search for direction.

Technology was the biggest drag, which doesn’t bode well for the ASX, retailers including Nike Inc (NSYSE:NKE) jumped 1.5% on signs of an improving economy.

Following Australia’s lead, US job openings reached a two-year high, hitting 7.4 million in March as the vaccine rollout boosts hopes of a return to normal.

The IMF also upgraded expectations for the global economy to grow by 6% in 2021 compared to 5.5% prior.

They expect China to solidify its dominance, expected to generate over 20% of global economic growth in the next five years.

The fallout from the Greensill and Archegos debacles continues, with Credit Suisse taking a US$4.7 billion loss.

Late last week Tesla (NYSE:TSLA) reported the delivery of 185,000 vehicles in the first quarter, a record and well ahead of expectations despite a microchip shortage.

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