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ASX brushes aside BNPL slump, rises to four-week high

Daily Market Update

ASX overcomes BNPL sell off, Afterpay tanks, Praemium jumps

The ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) finished 0.3% higher on Wednesday, overcoming a significant sell off in the technology sector.

The tech sector fell 2.7% for the day, with a 9.6% fall in Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) pulling the entire market down by 10 points.

The sell-off came after a double blow for the burgeoning and highly valued BNPL sector after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL) announced it would launch its own platform dubbed Apple Pay Later, backed by Goldman Sachs, and PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) launched its ‘Pay in 4’ product into the Australian market.

Shares in Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) also fell 11.4% with Afterpay’s management highlighting the company is no longer just a payments platform, but also a retail destination.

Seven Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SVW) has reportedly reached 48.41% ownership of Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) with the takeover offer set to be extended for another two weeks in what many experts are suggesting has been a lesson in aggressive takeover tactics from the Stokes Family.

Spark Infrastructure jumps, record inflows for Praemium, decarbonisation boom supports Sandfire

Wrap platform Praemium Ltd (ASX: PPS) jumped 15% after announcing record inflows of $1.2 billion onto its Praemium and Powerwrap platforms.

The result takes total funds under administration to $41 billion, nearing the $51 billion administered by competitor Hub24 Ltd (ASX: HUB), but with a significantly lower valuation.

Management also announced the divestment of its international platform business in an effort to focus on its Australian business.

Shares in Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX: SKI) jumped 7.8% before entering a trading halt with many predicting a takeover offer to be announced.

The potential buyer is still unknown but may well be another cashed up pension fund seeking to take another asset private; the group owns both the SA and Vic Power Networks.

Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR) continues to benefit from the decarbonisation trend and a resultant spike in copper prices, with the commodity a key part of most battery and EV products.

Sandfire shares added 2.3% after management confirmed total sales of $813 million, driven almost solely by the skyrocketing commodity price.

Federal Reserve ‘ready to act’, three record highs as quality growth wins, loan write-backs dominate

It was a mixed day for US stock markets with both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones finishing 0.1% higher but the Nasdaq down 0.2%.

The rotation back into ‘quality’ growth companies, including big tech names like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL), continues to dominate with both hitting record highs, supporting the S&P 500.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that they expect June’s increasing inflation figure to be transitory, but remain willing to act if it appears to be getting out of control.

He highlighted the US’ similar plight to Australia where the economy and jobs markets are recovering, they both had a ‘long way to go’.

Bank of America (NYSE: BOA) was the latest to report, falling over 2% despite tripling profit during the quarter to nearly US$9 billion.

The result was driven by writebacks of previous bad debt write-downs, which overcame a 4% fall in total revenue. Equity market revenue jumped 33%.

Index manager BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) also finished 3% lower after reporting a 10% increase in profit to US$1.4 billion as assets under management increased 30% and inflows into their ETF products jumped US$80 billion in three months, 80% of these were into active funds.

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