Last Orders: ASX starts on a high but finishes 0.73pc down
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It was a rollercoaster ride on the ASX today with the Australian bourse rising up to 0.4% in the first hour before declining over the rest of the day.
By 4.10pm the ASX 200 had dropped by 0.73% to close at 7,262 points while the ASX Emerging Companies Index lost 0.44%, closing at 2,161.
Energy had another solid day gaining 1.54% but every other sector was in the red, led by tech and telcos which lost 1.85% and 2.02% respectively.
Weighing heavily on the markets was the RBA’s board meeting. While it kept interest rates on hold and made another major dent to speculation that anything other than higher inflation could lead to an interest rate hike earlier than expected, it also warned that investors weren’t out of the woods.
Markets also awaited an announcement on Sydney’s lockdown but evidently reacted badly to the state government’s warning that Sydney wouldn’t immediately snap back to all pre-lockdown restrictions and may keep some until a higher portion of the population is vaccinated.
The top ASX stocks with news was WA gas play Norwest Energy (ASX:NWE). Norwest and its partner Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) announced an exploration rig was secured and that drilling would commence this month.
Mining services stock SRG Global (ASX:SRG) is tipping earnings for FY21 to be between $45 million and $47 million and for FY22 earnings to be 15% higher than the final FY21 result.
Mineral sands explorer Perpetual Resources (ASX:PEC) signed an options agreement over the Arrowsmith West tenement in WA just 3.2 kilometres west and immediately south of its Beharra Mining Lease. Managing director Robert Benussi told shareholders Arrowsmith West represented an exciting opportunity for Perpetual and that its geological and economic potential would be rapidly assessed.
B2B software stock Bigtincan Holdings (ASX:BTH) extended its contract with T-Mobile for another 24 months. The extended deal is worth $6.3 million and involves the deployment of Bigtincan’s content hub to 5,500 of T-Mobile’s retail stores and on up to 23,000 mobile devices.
Wood fibre processor and exporter Midway (ASX:MWY) secured another increase in export prices to Japan and China in the second half of the calendar year. It received US$175 per tonne in the first half and will received US$180 per tonne in the second half.
Wireless communications tech stock Etherstack (ASX:ESK) gave a trading update in which it revealed a 76% jump in revenues. The company credits projects that have been running ahead of schedule and were not included in earlier forecasts.
HomeCo Daily Needs REIT (ASX:HDN) – capital raising
RooLife Group (ASX:RLG) – capital raising