by Melissa Darmawan
The federal election may bolster the nation’s shares regardless of who wins, if history is a guide. The ASX 200 has risen in the three months following eight of the last 10 votes with average gains of 2.4 per cent since 1993 during the post-election period, according to Bloomberg.
It appears that the voting fever has come early with gains in mining stocks and beaten-up technology names after investors shrugged off modest losses on Wall St. It comes as the S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures rise up to 1 per cent each after a brutal week of selling.
At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.1 per cent or 79 points higher at 7,144. The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 84 points.
The rally is almost across the board with energy as the outlier, down 1.6 per cent with Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) weighing, down 3 per cent to $28.99. BHP (ASX:BHP) and Novonix (ASX:NVX) shares are doing the heavy lifting by 2.1 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively for the miners and tech sectors that are the best performers.
Block (ASX:SQ2) founder Jack Dorsey told investors the acquisition of Afterpay will help the company create a financial services and retailing platform that combines the company’s original payments services with its consumer financial management “super app”, backed by tools to lift access to bitcoin. Shares are trading 8.6 per cent higher at $126.03.
Baby milk formula companies are on the move amid President Joe Biden, launching ‘operation fly formula’ to address America’s shortage of baby formula. A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) is up 1.7 per cent to $4.25 while Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) is trading 4.7 per cent higher to $0.44.
Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) continues to rally, adding 4.4 per cent to $35.20 after its 6.7 per cent jump yesterday as investors mull on the online gaming company’s plans to return up to $500 million to investors through an on-market share buyback, after raising $1.3 billion for its failed takeover bid of UK gaming software company Playtech.
Major banks are led by Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG), adding 1.5 per cent to $180.25. Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) is shedding the least, up 0.3 per cent to $23.51.
Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) has popped above its gold peers, up 3.7 per cent to $3.63. Northern Star (ASX:NST) has added 2.5 per cent to $8.93, and Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) is trading 2 per cent higher at $25.42.
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BetMakers (ASX:BET) signed one agreement and terminated another. Its OM Apps business signed a new agreement with two divisions of The Waterhouse Group, Tarpin Finance and Rob Waterhouse. Meanwhile, BetMakers DNA terminated its managed trading agreement with Tarpin, which is expected to deliver higher gross profit margins to the business vertical with all revenues remaining with BetMakers. Shares are trading 2 per cent higher at $0.50.
Fintech payments company Novatti (ASX:NOV) is set to receive a dividend in excess of $8 million from its 19.9 per cent stake in accounting software company Reckon, following Reckon’s deal to sell its Accountants Practice Management Group for $100 million. Shares in Novatti (ASX:NOV) are trading 9.3 per cent higher at $0.24.
Etherstack Wireless (ASX:ESK) has launched its NATO narrowband waveform platform which aims to improve communication capabilities and reduce costs for NATO member nations and their defence radio manufacturers. Shares are trading 8.4 per cent higher at $0.45.
Supermarket giant Woolworths (ASX:WOW) is set to purchase an 80 per cent stake in online marketplace retailer MyDeal.com.au (ASX:MYD) for $1.05 per share. Shares are trading 1.6 per cent higher at $35.76.
IGO (ASX:IGO) has produced its first battery grade lithium hydroxide from the Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Refinery, representing an “important milestone” for the lithium joint venture between IGO and Tianqi Lithium Corporation. Shares are trading 4.9 per cent higher at $11.63.
Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) says it will prioritise the development of Yolla West and defer its Trefoil project. Shares are trading 1.8 per cent lower at $1.63
Develop (ASX:DVP) has completed the acquisition of the Woodlawn zinc-copper mine in NSW by purchasing all the shares in Heron Resources. Shares are trading flat at $2.38.
Woodside Petroleum’s (ASX:WPL) shareholders voted for a merger with BHP Group’s (ASX:BHP) petroleum arm. Shares in Woodside (ASX:WPL) are trading 3 per cent lower at $28.99.
Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) is set to be removed from the ASX 200 by May 25, subject to shareholder and final court approval of the scheme of arrangement whereby the company will be acquired by Blackstone Inc. Shares are trading 0.4 per cent higher at $12.87.
What else is on watch?
In broker moves, Morgan cut Nufarm (ASX:NUF) to hold with a price target of $6.65, with shares down 5.2 per cent to $5.75. Technology One (ASX:TNE) to hold with a price target of $11, with shares up 4.4 per cent to $10.47.
APA Group (ASX:APA) is being circled by at least one prospect in hopes to take the company private, according to The Australian. Shares are trading 2.8 per cent higher at $11.92.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is information technology, up 4.6 per cent. The worst-performing sector is energy, down 1.1 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Novonix (ASX:NVX), trading 15.5 per cent higher at $4.25. It is followed by shares in Life360 (ASX:360), and Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Nufarm (ASX:NUF), trading 5.2 per cent lower at $5.75. It is followed by shares in Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), and Orica (ASX:ORI).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1837.92 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.2 per cent higher at US$129.40 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.56 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.30 US cents.
Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics