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ASX 200 drifts higher: Afterpay, WiseTech and Appen shares all rise

The ASX 200 witnessed modest gains today, as the Australian blue-chip benchmark played follow-the-leader with Wall Street.

The ASX 200 at a glance

The ASX 200 saw modest gains today, rising some 46 points to hit the 6,563 mark by the close of market. Moderate US Jobs data, a solid Wall Street rally on Friday and the prospect that the US fed will cut rates, all likely played into to the rise witnessed today.

Before the market opened, IG’s Market Analyst, Kyle Rodda; noted that:

‘Investors took a small sigh of relief on Friday night, after US jobs data affirmed that at least for now, the US economy isn’t cascading into recession.’

Yet maybe more importantly, Mr Rodda noted that jobs data:

‘Wasn’t so bad that it signals an imminent contraction for the US economy, yet it was weak enough to maintain the view that the US Fed will have to cut rates very aggressively to manage a tangible slowdown.’

Equity markets are after all, rather fond of rate cuts.

Afterpay and Appen share prices run higher

With the ASX 200 rising modestly today, all sectors finished the session in the green.

Centrally, the information technology sector led today’s gains, with the S&P/ASX 200 Information Technology (XIJ) index rising 1.42%, to hit 1,365 points by the close.

Behind this was the run-up in the proverbial ASX tech darlings: even with no news out these companies, the Afterpay share price rose 2.4%, Appen’s shares gained 2.1% and the WiseTech share price gained 4%.

CSL share price continues upwards

Close behind information technology was health care, with the S&P/ASX 200 Health Care (XHJ) index rising 1.27%, finishing the day some 455 points higher.

Biotech giant CSL contributed significantly to these gains, with its share price gaining 1.29% and reaching A$239 per share. It looks as if investor enthusiasm has persisted, following bullish research from Morgan Stanley that posited CSL’s shares could run-up to A$251.

Such is the self-fulfilling prophecies of broker notes, it would seem.

And the others

Utilities were one of the weakest performing sectors on the ASX today, with the S&P/ASX 200 Utilities (XUJ) index rising just 52 points to reach the 8,028 mark.

Financials also saw a bump, with all of the big four banks rising after spending the last week mostly in the red. Overall, the S&P/ASX 200 Financials index rose 0.37%.

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