Share market slightly up on Monday, as tech rebounds, energy stocks slip

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Australian shares inched higher on Monday, as a rally in tech stocks was offset by losses in the energy and consumer sectors.

The S&P/ASX200 advanced 0.2 per cent, or 15.8 points to 7789.1, while the broader All Ordinaries also added a similar amount.

The Australian dollar traded flat at US65.81c.

Following hotter than expected jobs data out of the United States, which pushed US indices higher while also adding to concerns over the timing of rate cuts, eToro market analyst Josh Gilbert said the local benchmark appeared to be taking a “breather”.

“If we look at the S&P 500, the annualised rate it is running at the moment is the highest it has been for 70 years, it’s actually not sustainable,” Mr Gilbert said.

“We see this as a bit of a slowdown, not a huge sell off … we’re not going to keep running at the same annualised rate that we have had so far.”

On the benchmark, energy stocks retreated, falling 1.2 per cent, after the oil price retraced some of its gains achieved during trading last week.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark, slipped below $US90 a barrel, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said some IDF troops had been withdrawn from southern Gaza.

On the ASX, Woodside Energy slipped 1.6 per cent to $30.10, while Santos shed 1 per cent to $7.85.

Meanwhile, tech stocks were the best performers, jumping 1 per cent.

The sector was supported by WiseTech Global which added 0.8 per cent to $91.62, after the software company announced it was acquiring Finnish electronic customs and freight forwarding specialist, Aktiv Data.

In other corporate news, location sharing technology provider Life360 vaulted 16.8 per cent to close at $14.18, a record high, after the firm reported an additional 4.9 million global monthly active users over the March quarter.

Agribusiness supplier Elders plunged 24.4 per cent to $7.43, erasing its gains so far this year, after it said trading in the final six months of 2023 was “significantly below expectations” due to the impacts of El Nino and reduced prices for agricultural commodities.

Oil and gas producer Beach Energy plunged 15 per cent to $1.61 after it warned that gas wouldn’t flow at its WA-based Waitsia LNG facility until early 2025, with project cost set to blowout by an additional $200 million. Previously it had forecast an operational timeline of mid-2024.

Qantas added 4.8 per cent to $5.69 after it commenced an on-market share buyback worth $488m. The airline also announced an additional 20 million reward seats for frequent flyers as it seeks to bolster its reputation following a litany of scandals.

After exiting a trading halt, human services firm APM dived 29.5 per cent to $1.15 after releasing below-expectation profit forecasts of between $95 million and $105m. Adding to its woes was a revised takeover bid for the firm, submitted by its largest shareholder Madison Dearborn Partners, valued at $1.40 a share.

Ansell entered a trading halt after it announced it would purchase Kimberly Clark’s PPE business for $US640m ($974m). Shares last traded at $23.89.

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