The ASX has opened -0.2% lower following a weak session on Wall Street.
All three major US indices finished lower on Friday as omicron and interest rate concerns continued to trouble investors. The blue-chip Dow Jones underperformed, weighed by cyclical and value sectors including financials, energy and industrials.
The Dow’s weakness has resonated with the ASX on Monday, with local financial and energy stocks weaker at open.
The ASX 200 healthcare sector is leading the market, up 0.79% at open. ResMed (ASX: RMD) jumped 2.3%, Fisher & Paykel (ASX: FPH) is up 1.9%, Sonic Healthcare (ASX: SHL) gained 1.6% and Ramsay Healthcare (ASX: RHC) opened 0.8% higher.
The ASX 200 tech sector is another standout this morning thanks to a 2% gain from Afterpay (ASX: APT). Afterpay shares are sitting around 13-month lows after sliding 13% last week as investors rotated away from richly valued tech stocks.
Viva Energy Group (ASX: VEA) opened 3.7% after providing earnings guidance for the full year ending 31 December 2021. The energy company said that despite lockdowns in Victoria and NSW during the third quarter, it achieved strong fuel sales growth across both retail and commercial segments. Total sales volume is expected to be up 5% on the prior period.
Scott Wyatt, CEO and Managing Director, said “Viva Energy’s business is recovering well from the impacts of the pandemic and we expect to deliver an Underlying Group EBITDA (RC) for the year of between $470 - $490 million, or 22% and 96% higher than FY2019 and FY2020 respectively.”
Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) opened 1.3% higher at yet another all-time high. Shares in the largest ASX-listed lithium stock is up 215% year-to-date.
Magellan Financial Group (ASX: MFG) nosedived 27.9% following the “termination of a material contract”. The termination of St James’s Place represents 12% of the Group’s current annual revenues and is anticipated to have an approximate 6% impact on the revenues for FY22.
Cimic Group (ASX: CIM) plunged 11% after reaching a settlement for the West Gate Tunnel Project in Melbourne.. The settlement will see a negotiated reduction of revenue for Cimic and its joint-venture partners. Cimic said that it expects the financial impact from the West Gate settlement to be offset by existing provisions and non-recurring gains for the period.
The ASX 200 energy sector is down 1.6%. Oil prices fell on Friday as a strong US dollar and omicron concerns weighed. Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL) is down 2%, while Beach Energy (ASX: BPT) and Santos (ASX: STO) both opened 3% lower.
Gold spot prices briefly rallied 0.9% last Friday to a high of $1,814/oz before closing the session flat at US$1,798/oz.
Finance Writer & Social Media
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