• ASX lost momentum in afternoon session after making early gains
  • Aussie dollar is trading over US 74c
  • Magellan’s Hamish Douglass quits

 

The ASX 200 lost early momentum after erasing a 0.60% gain this morning to finish slightly down by 0.2%.

Local investors started the day in an upbeat mood on the back of 2% rally on Wall Street last Friday.

But gains fizzled out in the afternoon as the Aussie dollar extended last week’s gain to over US 74c, reflecting the recent surge in commodity prices.

Another catalyst for the Aussie dollar rally is the expectation of an earlier than expected RBA rate hike, especially after the US Fed raised its rates last week.

Investors are weighing the effect of rising commodity prices against the potential negative impact of a strong Aussie dollar on export oriented stocks.

By sector, Tech was the best performing today, up by 3% while Industrials was the worst, down by 1%.

Miners got a little boost after the spot iron ore rallied back above US$150, trading at $US151 a tonne. A note out of Bank America predicted that supply disruptions from Russia and Ukraine may push the market into deficit in 2022.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Afterpay’s successor Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) is up another 9% today, which takes its gain for the week to almost 40%. It’s been a big comeback for SQ2, reflecting the improved risk appetite across markets after the price sank 40% prior to last week.

Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) lifted as much as 7% after reporting positive drilling results at its Buldania Lithium project in WA. At the Anna Deposit, results included: 3m at 1.1% Li2O from 36m, and  21m at 0.5% Li2O from 8m.

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES)’s proposed acquisition of Australian Pharma Industries (ASX:API) has been approved by the Federal Court of Australia.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Embattled fund manager Magellan Financial (ASX:MFG) lost 3% after founder Hamish Douglass resigned from the Board today. Douglass said his resignation is due solely to his medical leave of absence.