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Yesterday local shares rose 0.5% after the RBA, in its first meeting of the year, formally ended its quantitative easing program, as inflation rises faster than expected. This was the bond buying program introduced in late 2020, as an emergency measure during the pandemic, which kept bonds anchored near record lows, to help keep borrowing costs for households and businesses low. And as expected, the central bank also held the interest rate at 0.1%.
Yesterday 10 of the 11 industry sectors closed with gains. However, the market was weighed by losses in materials, as the price of iron ore declined.
This saw BHP (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and other mining stocks among the worst performers. Meanwhile ASX tech stocks were the top performers, as the Nasdaq rebounded and Block (formally known as Square), officially took over Afterpay. Appen (ASX:APX) lead the gains, up almost 8%. Block (ASX:SQ2) and Zip (ASX:Z1P) were also among the top 10.
The most traded stocks by Bell Direct clients yesterday included BHP (ASX:BHP) and Vanguard ETFs (ASX:VAS) and (ASX:VGS).
European stocks started February on a positive note, and US stocks rose for the third day, extending the market’s comeback from the sell-off we saw in January. The Dow was up 0.8%, the S&P500 up 0.7% and the Nasdaq up 0.8%.
Aussie shares are set to open higher. The SPI futures are suggesting a 0.68% rise at the open this morning.
What to watch today: