— Finance

NSW rescue cash gives ASX short-lived, last-minute boost

The ASX finished barely changed after a cash rescue package for Covid-stricken NSW provided a short-lived, last-minute boost.

The Australian share market closed barely changed on Tuesday after fading from a strong start, bouncing up a few points in the final moments of trade as the Prime Minister announced a cash rescue package for Covid-stricken NSW, then promptly sinking again.

The S&P/ASX200 finished 1.4 points softer at 7332.1 while the All Ordinaries Index firmed 7.3 points to 7612.2.

CommSec analyst Steven Daghlian said the rocky session followed Wall St hitting new record peaks overnight and the ASX starting the week firmly in the green on Monday.

“We’ve had a choppy, somewhat directionless few weeks in Australia, and this is after hitting a record high in the middle of June,” Mr. Daghlian said.

“Since then, we’ve been faced with several challenges, including Sydney entering a lockdown, which is now in its third week, and it doesn’t seem likely to end any time soon.”

OMG chief executive Ivan Tchourilov noted the benchmark ASX200 index had climbed up to 7380 points early in the session before pulling back when the NSW Premier announced 89 new locally acquired cases in the state.

“The uncertainty around how long NSW and namely Sydney will be in lockdown is weighing on our market, as this has the potential to substantially derail the economic recovery,” he said.

The big four banks were mixed, with ANZ slipping 0.54 percent to $27.82, Commonwealth Bank giving up 0.79 percent to $98.39, National Australia Bank inching two cents higher to $26.24 and Westpac shedding 0.75 percent to $25.33.

Mr. Tchourilov said his company’s clients had piled into CBA, with the stock being the most bought during the session. “CBA will be reporting their full-year profit and dividend figures in August, and it’s widely expected to increase its return to shareholders compared to this time last year,” he said.

“Lending has been strong across several sectors, especially housing, which should see them report an increase in their bottom line and give them the capacity to increase their dividend. “All things remaining equal, this should see them continue to be supported leading into this announcement.”

In company news, global meal kit delivery giant HelloFresh sought to buy Youfoodz to expand into the ready-made meals arena, offering 93 cents per share, backed by the board and RGT Capital – the biggest shareholder in Youfoodz with a 57.4 percent stake.

The $125m deal represented an 82 percent premium to Youfoodz’s closing price on Monday of 51 cents and sent its shares rocketing by 77.45 percent to 90.5 cents.

But it’s a loss for those who piled into the initial public offering in December, given they paid $1.50 and their shares have traded well below that level since. Mr. Tchourilov noted the early investors would be disappointed, crystallizing a loss of about 40 percent.

Aerial imaging company Nearmap leaped 14.36 percent to $2.27 after announcing better than forecast unaudited preliminary full-year results, primarily driven by its North American business, with boss Rob Newman saying it had been “an unprecedented year with record performance delivered in a challenging economic environment”.

The audited results will be released on August 18. Explosive maker Incitec Pivot jumped 5.76 per cent to $2.57 after announcing changes to its manufacturing model from a global to a regional management structure, saying that would ensure appropriate oversight and support while international travel restrictions remained in place.

Almond grower Select Harvests surged 16.03 percent to $7.53 after reporting a record 2021 crop. “Record almond shipments and the worsening Californian drought have led to a recent price appreciation,” managing director Paul Thompson said.

“Demand for almonds, both in their natural form and as a value-added food ingredient, in products such as plant-based kinds of milk and yogurts, continues to grow.”

A poor performer was Platinum Asset Management after reporting a $167m plunge in funds under management, sending its shares tumbling 8.26 percent to $4.22.

Among the miners, Rio Tinto firmed 0.6 per cent to $128.36, BHP gave up 0.69 per cent to $50.70, Fortescue appreciated 2.11 per cent to $25.18 and OZ Minerals retreated 2.16 per cent to $21.74.

In the energy sector, Santos slid 0.42 percent to $7.05, Woodside Petroleum subtracted 1.45 percent to $23.11, and Oil Search declined 0.52 percent to $3.83. The Aussie dollar was buying 74.92 US cents, 53.93 British pence, and 63.15 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

Leave a Reply