LA Private

ASX up 0.54% after strong results from US shares overnight

The Technology sector recorded robust gains, rallying over 2 per cent after Apple and Microsoft each reset their record highs overnight on Wall Street.

Accounting software Xero (ASX:XRO) rose 3.2 per cent and was among the best performing stocks. WiseTech (ASX:WTC) shares jumped 2.5 per cent. TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) shares rose 1.2 per cent. NextDC (ASX:NXT) edged up 0.8 per cent. Megaport (ASX:MP1) shares were up 1.6 per cent. Life360 (ASX:360) was up 1.2 per cent.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.54 per cent higher at 7,213.90.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 43 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Utilities, up 2.43 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 0.09 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is AGL Energy (ASX:AGL), trading 13.98 per cent higher at $11.01. It is followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR).

The worst-performing large cap is South32 (ASX:S32), trading 2.04 per cent lower at $3.84. It is followed by shares in Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Rio Tinto Group (ASX:RIO).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets are trading mixed Friday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite posted a sixth-straight day of gains and investors in the region look to the Bank of Japan’s rate decision.

Analysts from Bank of America wrote in a Wednesday note that they do not foresee any changes to the BOJ’s yield curve control policy, nor do they expect any changes to rates.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slid 0.71 per cent for a second-straight day of losses, while the Topix saw a smaller loss of 0.52 per cent.

South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.25 per cent and the Kosdaq rose 0.28 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is set to extend its rally after gaining over 2 per cent on Thursday, with futures at 19,951 compared with the HSI’s close of 19,828.92.

Company news

Iceni Gold (ASX:ICL) announced that assays and fieldwork have confirmed high-grade vein at Everleigh in WA. Technical Director David Nixon commented: “Fieldwork continues to focus along the length of the soil anomaly in the search for further outcropping veining along strike.” Shares are trading 11.11 per cent higher at 11 cents.

Austco Healthcare (ASX:AHC) has been awarded a $7.4m contract for its communications system, Tacera. CEO Clayton Astles, commented “This is the largest contract win in the company’s history and demonstrates our growing sales momentum and the increasing reputation of our flagship product.” Shares are trading 28.6 per cent higher at 18 cents.

Errawarra Resources (ASX:ERW) announced that lithium exploration continues at their Andover West in WA. Tom Reddicliffe, Executive Chairman commented: “We are very much excited by what the Pilbara region keeps delivering to the market and we look forward to continuing with our exploration activity.” Shares are trading flat at 17 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1973.40 an ounce.
Iron ore is 1.0 per cent higher at US$115.40 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.3 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.77 US cents.