The Business Times

Australia: Shares up on miners, energy boost; Afterpay slumps

Published Wed, Jul 14, 2021 · 09:42 AM

[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose on Wednesday as miners and energy stocks advanced, while a slump in buy-now-pay-later giant Afterpay and other technology stocks capped gains.

In New Zealand, investors await the country's monetary policy review due later in the day. The central bank is expected to leave policy unchanged, according to a Reuters poll.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.4 per cent at 7,362 points by 0038 GMT, after it closed relatively flat on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.3 per cent and S&P 500 E-minis futures were flat.

Miners rose 0.7 per cent and were among the best performers on the index, benefiting from an overnight jump in Chinese iron ore futures.

Global miner BHP Group added 0.6 per cent while lithium-boron supplier Ioneer rose 2.5 per cent.


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Gold stocks also strengthened, with Newcrest Mining adding 0.6 per cent.

Energy stocks were among the top percentage gainers, tracking an overnight jump in oil prices, with sector heavyweights Woodside Petroleum and Santos gaining 1 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively.

Technology stocks slumped as much as 3 per cent to hit a near one-month low, weighed down by a 9.6 per cent fall in Afterpay.

Buy-now-pay-later firms including Zip and Sezzle also dropped more than 9 per cent after Bloomberg News reported that Apple Inc was planning to launch a service that will allow users to repay Apple Pay purchases in instalments.

Meanwhile, looming prospects of a lockdown extension in Sydney persist as authorities attempt to douse an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down 0.2 per cent at 12,760.69, weighed down by losses in healthcare and real estate stocks.

In its monetary policy review due later in the day, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to hold cash rate at a record low of 0.25 per cent, a Reuters poll showed, where it has been since a pandemic-driven cut in March last year.


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