— Finance

ASX in four-day winning streak: Commonwealth Bank nudges $100

The ASX climbed steadily higher then rallied in the final trade moments, with Commonwealth Bank hitting a record and a takeover target rocketing.

The Australian sharemarket rose for the fourth straight day after a positive lead from Wall Street, with Commonwealth Bank hitting a new record and miners performing strongly despite weaker iron ore prices.

The S&P/ASX200 closed 0.98 percent higher at 7115.2 while the All Ordinaries Index gained 1 percent to 7349.1. CommSec analyst James Tao said the US market improved amid easing concerns about inflation, and all sectors excluding utilities gained ground on the local bourse.

OMG chief executive Ivan Tchourilov said materials stocks were most potent, with BHP, Rio Tinto, and Fortescue heavy lifting. Rio Tinto rose 1.63 percent to $121.45, BHP put on 1.3 percent to $47.48, and Fortescue lifted 1.64 percent to $21.72.

“Even with iron ore sinking below $US200 per metric ton for the first time in several weeks, the major players in the space are still having a solid day, which indicates investors aren’t overly concerned with the pullback and still sees value in well-established, cashed-up producers,” Mr. Tchourilov said.

CBA lifted 0.88 percent to $99.63 after reaching $99.65 in intraday trade. ANZ appreciated 1.03 percent to $28.45, National Australia Bank added 0.86 percent to $26.88, and Westpac firmed 0.85 percent to $26.20.

Recent listing Airtasker successfully completed a $20.7m institutional placement, which was well received by the market, with shares in the gig economy marketplace soaring 12.04 percent to $1.21 after emerging from a trading halt.

“There was a lot of interest and support for the stock in the primary market, which has flowed through to the secondary market, so a good result for both new and existing shareholders,” Mr. Tchourilov said. Airtasker plans to use the funds to acquire local services marketplace Zaarly to accelerate its expansion in the US.

Other strong performers included online job ads company Seek, up 4.68 percent at $30.21. Caresales.com jumped 5.11 percent to $18.52, and realestate.com.au owner REA Group, which is majority-owned by the publisher of this title, News Corp.

REA shares firmed 3 percent to $159.85. Another solid performer was online retailer Kogan, which leaped 6.6 percent to $10.64. “It’s certainly rebounding from last Friday’s big fall,” Mr. Tao said.

Kogan’s plunge sparked it, saying its inventories remained high after it doubled in size amid the Covid-19 online shopping boom and would take months to clear.

Cancer therapies firm Imugene surged 12.35 percent to 45.5 cents after reporting its chairman and chief executive had increased their stakes in the company.

Construction and mining services company CIMIC announced it sought to acquire the shares in its 59.11 per cent-held investment Devine Ltd for about $15.6m. Shares in CIMIC were up 1.13 percent at $21.46.

Devine said it would evaluate the offer of 24 cents per share, sending its shares rocketing a whopping 95.83 percent to 23.5 cents.

Building materials giant James Hardie held an investor day in Chicago, outlining its goal to shift from being a fiber cement producer to a premier, consumer-branded company “that offers endless design possibilities to exteriors and interiors of the home”.

“We came away from James Hardie’s investor day with increased confidence in the company’s runway for growth and opportunities to drive margin improvement,” RBA Capital Markets said.

“We view James Hardie as well-positioned to take advantage of its new capacity in an extreme US housing environment.”

Shares in the company inched one cent lower to $41.29. Plenti, which provides loans for cars, renovations, and green projects, reported its results for the year to March 31, showing its total loan portfolio grew by 61 percent to $615m.

Its shares slipped 2.07 percent to $1.18. Another non-bank lender, Pepper Money, made a weak ASX debut, with its shares dropping 9.69 percent to $2.61.

Gold producers were weaker, with Resolute Mining slumping 6.3 percent to 59.5 cents, Evolution Mining backtracking 0.76 percent to $5.23, Northern Star sliding 0.44 percent to $11.31, and Newcrest shedding 0.42 percent to $28.40. The Aussie dollar was buying 77.72 US cents, 54.7 British pence, and 63.45 Euro cents in afternoon trade.

Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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