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FIVE at FIVE AU: Tech and Telcos drag ASX lower; Energy a bright spot

Published 26/03/2024, 04:03 pm
© Reuters FIVE at FIVE AU: Tech and Telcos drag ASX lower; Energy a bright spot

The ASX traded lower into the afternoon, to end the day down 0.38% at 7,782 points, following pain on Wall Street overnight. The Tech (-1.51%) and Telco (-0.99%) sectors weighed on the market.

However, the Energy sector (+0.53%) ended the day higher. After the oil price held its biggest weekly gain overnight, oil and gas majors Woodside and Santos each finished higher, up 1.06% and 0.4% respectively. Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) gained 2.6% to $1.78 after being raised to a buy rating by Morgans.

After emerging from a trading halt, ASX biotech Mesoblast gained 44% today after the US FDA allowed the company to re-submit a licence application for its Ryoncil (remestemcel-L) product, for the treatment of children with steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease (SR-aGVHD) – a devastating and life-threatening complication of a bone marrow transplant.

29Metals lost more than a quarter of its market value today after the copper producer suspended operations at its Capricorn Copper Mine in Queensland due to further heavy rainfall.

Westpac Consumer Sentiment out

After a promising improvement in February, Westpac’s consumer confidence index dipped by 1.8% for March as consumer confidence remains “very, very low” by historical standards. At 84.4, the sentiment index is well below the long-run average of 100.7.

Consumers were more pessimistic after the RBA’s March cash rate decision than those surveyed before, likely due to the downgrade in expectations of the timing of future rate cuts.

The negative consumer sentiment continues to impact retail trade — the food and beverage sector, in particular. This sector is experiencing much higher rates of business failures than all other industries.

Just over 7% of businesses in the food and beverage sector closed down during the past year, well above the 4.6% average rate across all industries.

Five at five

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Race Oncology key asset RC220 passes milestone with manufactured batch confirmed for human IV use

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Latin Resources delivers even more high-grade results from Salinas Lithium Project

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Anson Resources uncovers up to 29.5% zinc and 28.87% lead at Ajana with silver to boot

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Flynn Gold reveals polymetallic strike and depth potential at Firetower

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On your six

Arovella Therapeutics fully funded to pursue Phase 1 blood cancer clinical trials for ALA-101 after $12.5 million placement

Arovella Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:ALA) has secured the funding necessary to carry out its Phase 1 clinical trials on invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cell therapy platform treatment ALA-101, assessing its effect in patients with CD19-positive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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One to watch

Gold Hydrogen delivers “amazing” hydrogen and helium results

Gold Hydrogen Ltd (ASX:GHY) managing director Neil McDonald joins Jonathan Jackson in the Proactive studio to discuss the recent “amazing” findings of natural hydrogen and helium at the Ramsay Project in South Australia.

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