Note from the MD: New record highs as energy stocks power up

It was the news none of us wanted to hear but everyone on the south east corner of the country knew was coming: Melbourne’s COVID lockdown will continue for another seven days. 

It was the news none of us wanted to hear but everyone on the south east corner of the country knew was coming: Melbourne’s COVID lockdown will continue for another seven days. 

Still there was cause to celebrate this afternoon after the ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) set a new record high, closing at 7217.8 – a 1.1% gain on the previous day’s close.

The index rallied as high as 7,218.9 with only ten minutes left in trading, before easing back down to its still impressive closing level.

Commodities and miners played a major role in today’s gains – the first of the week too, I might add – with the ASX 300 Metals and Mining index (ASX: AXMM) finishing the day up 2.03% after an ongoing strength in commodity prices.

The market has finally broken through all-time closing highs and the 7200 resistance level. The market continues to trade around it’s upward sloping post-COVID trend line after bouncing off this level during today’s session. 

Over the coming weeks we expect the market to continue a slow rise above 7200, however there may be some short term pullbacks on the horizon as traders lock in their profits.

In more good news, the latest ABS figures show the national recovery is well and truly underway with the economy – measured in GDP terms, at least – grew 1.8% during the March Quarter.

That follows a 3.2% rise in the December quarter – enough that our economy is now larger than it was pre-pandemic. 

Private investment was up 5.3%, contributing almost a full percentage point to the growth of the economy, while tax incentives from government seem to have encouraged further machinery and equipment investment, which experienced its strongest quarterly rise since 2009.

Taken all together, this paints a picture of the fastest recovery following a recession that Australia has experienced in close to half a decade.

No doubt that fact has helped spur investors’ enthusiasm and played a role in today’s new high watermark.

That enthusiasm also bore out in the smaller end of markets, with the ASX Small Ordinaries Index (ASX: XSO) following the trend set by it’s larger market cap peers to finish up 0.88% higher.

Here too, energy and mining stocks played a significant role with six of the ten best performers all falling into that market segment.

Those six were Nickel Mines (ASX: NIC), Capricorn Metals (ASX: CMM), Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC), Cooper Energy (ASX: COE), Coronado Global Resources (ASX: CRN), and New Hope Corporation (ASX: NHC).

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