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ASX closes 0.4% higher, AusNet soars on bidding war

Daily Market Update (31)

Market fights back, APA bids for AusNet, iron ore stems the flow
 
The S&P/ASX200 (ASX: XJO) looked to be moving into correction territory this morning, opening broadly lower and continuing the weak global trend. The market fell as much as 0.3% before finishing the same amount higher.
 
Concern continues to grow about the outlook for the global economy but most importantly perceived increased in geopolitical risk following Australia’s deal with the US and UK for nuclear-powered submarines.
 
China Evergrande’s move towards default appears to be gaining the garnering the attention of an otherwise directionless market.
 
It was all about AusNet (ASX: AST) though, with the company receiving a second offer, this time from pipeline owner APA Group (ASX: APA).The deal is an increase on the existing $2.50 offer, moving to $2.60 and a valuation exceeding $10 billion.
 
Shares in AusNet moved another 10% higher, but APA shares fell 4.7%. Sticking with infrastructure, Atlas Arteria (ASX: ALX) jumped 2.1% after reinstating their dividend at a rate of 15.5 cents per share with their US and European toll roads finally showing signs of improvement.
 
BHP, RIO stem the bleeding, energy recovers, Telstra, Resmed outperform
 
Every sector barring financials finished the day to the positive, with the banking sector down 0.4% but telecommunications and tech leading the way with 1.1 and 1.7% gains.
 
Telstra (ASX: TLS) continues to rally following their strong Investor Day last week at which they highlighted an aggressive growth strategy, with shares 1.3% higher.
 
ResMed is also benefitting from market share gains following a competitor’s recall, with investors returning to defensive healthcare companies.
 
Iron ore prices appear to have bottom, hitting US$90 per tonne on the back of steel production curbs ahead of the Winter Olympics and summer season.
 
BHP (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) added 0.6 and 0.5% respectively, with prices now back around February 2021 levels following an increase early part of the year.
 
Consumer confidence has also moved slightly higher in August, defying the extended lockdowns, but remain well below the long-term average. 
 
US markets stumble, Disney growth slows, Uber rallies
 
US markets couldn’t hold onto gains delivered during another ‘buy the dip’ session, suggesting investors are growing wary of a correction.
 
Both the Dow Jones and S&P500 fell 0.1% at the close despite trading higher throughout the session. The Nasdaq gained, however, adding 0.2% on the back of another rotation to defensive tech stocks.
 
Industrials, utilities and communications
 including the likes of AT&T (NYSE: T) fell as the potential fallout from Evergrande grows after the group defaulted.
 
Construction starts in the US are tracking Australia’s experienced with another 3.9% increase in August.
 
On a company specific level Uber Technologies (NYSE: UBER) rallied over 12% after management confirmed they expect to reach ‘adjusted’ profitability in the third quarter for the first time with a profit of US$25 million.
 
Shares in The Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) fell 4.2% after management flagged a slowdown in subscriber growth with some 61 movies and 17 TV shows hit with production delays due to Delta.
 
Finally, Justin Trudeau is said to have one another minority government in Canada.

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