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ASX ends up after IT system stalls trade

Steven Deare
·4-min read

Australia's share market finished higher but trade was suspended for most of the day after the introduction of a new trading system did not go as planned.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed up 79.0 points, or 1.23 per cent, to 6484.3 on Monday.

The All Ordinaries gained 77.6 points, or 1.18 per cent, to 6687.0.

The ASX paused trade at 1024 AEDT and said there were issues with market data.

This was later revealed to be a software issue with the trading of multiple securities in a single order, called combination trading, which created inaccurate market data.

The glitch was part of a new trading platform for shares, introduced on Monday.

The market operator said it tested the system for more than a year.

Trade did not resume on Monday but the ASX said it would resolve the issue overnight and trade would resume on Tuesday.

All sectors finished higher except for information technology.

Property was best, up 1.92 per cent, followed by energy, higher by 1.6 per cent.

The gains came after Wall Street markets finished higher on Friday following upbeat earnings reports.

The ASX200 is at its highest level since February 27. The index lost more than 10 per cent in that February week as investors realised the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, a coronavirus cluster in Adelaide has grown to 17 cases, leading states and territories to close borders to South Australia.

The Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia have all put restrictions on people arriving from Adelaide, such as quarantine.

There are hopes a regional pact will pave the way for Australia and China to resolve trade disputes.

Australia officially signed onto the 15-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership after eight years of negotiations.

China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and 10 Southeast Asian countries are part of the pact.

The agreement will cover about 30 per cent of global goods and services.

CSL struck a $1 billion, 12-year deal with the federal government for subsidiary Seqirus to provide influenza and fever vaccines, as well as life-saving antivenoms.

Under the agreement, Seqirus will invest $800 million to develop a vaccine manufacturing facility near Melbourne airport to replace its more than 60-year-old Parkville site.

CSL shares closed up 1.77 per cent to $314.94.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has published a report on the buy-now pay-later industry, and said the amount of credit provided doubled in 12 months.

ASIC said one in five customers was missing payments.

Afterpay shares were down 0.39 per cent to $101.45, while rival Zip Co lost 0.66 per cent to $6.01.

Nine boss Hugh Marks will remain in his role until well into next year as the media company begins the search for a new chief.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Nine Entertainment said Mr Marks would step down as CEO and director "at some stage during the second half of FY21".

Shares were down 0.82 per cent to $2.42.

Among the big banks, ANZ closed up 3.01 per cent to $21.20, the Commonwealth gained 1.86 per cent to $74.50, NAB rose 1.42 per cent to $21.50 and Westpac climbed 1.42 per cent to $18.60.

In mining, BHP gained 0.92 per cent to $36.10, Rio Tinto rose 1.77 per cent to $97.79 and Fortescue climbed 0.54 per cent to $16.68.

On Monday night, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe will talk about monetary policy at a Committee for Economic Development dinner.

The Aussie dollar was buying 72.87 US cents at 1644 AEDT, up from 72.30 US cents at Friday's close.

ON THE ASX

* The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed up 79.0 points, or 1.23 per cent, to 6484.3 on Monday.

* The All Ordinaries gained 77.6 points, or 1.18 per cent, to 6687.0.

* At 1644 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was higher by 91 points, or 1.42 per cent, to 6486.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 72.87 US cents, from 72.30 US cents on Friday

* 76.20 Japanese yen, from 75.88 yen

* 61.49 Euro cents, from 61.25 cents

* 55.11 British pence, from 55.09 pence

* 106.03 NZ cents, from 106.05 cents.