Skip to content

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ASX 200 afternoon report: 21 March 2024

Find out below who have been the shakers and movers in today’s session on the ASX 200.

Source: Bloomberg

The ASX 200 trades 84 points (1.10%) higher at 7780 at 3.00pm AEDT

Today, the ASX 200 surged as a wave of relief swept across regional equity markets following the Federal Reserve's decision to keep rates on hold this morning, reaffirming its outlook for three rate cuts this year.

While there were concerns that after a run of firmer data, the Fed might signal just two rate cuts in 2024, the Fed chair said the committee had anticipated inflations return to target would be “bumpy” and had chosen to look through the hotter than expected data.

After being slow to respond to the initial signs of inflation, the RBA isn’t anywhere near signalling rate cuts yet, and is perhaps lamenting its decision on Tuesday to water down its mild tightening bias, as jobs data for February surprised to the upside.

Strong job growth in Australia: unemployment rate drops to 3.7% amid surprising economic data

The Australian economy added 116.5k jobs in February following a 0.5k gain in January, well above the 40k gain expected. The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% from 4.1% and the participation increased by 0.1 percentage point to 66.7% after being revised lower last month.

The ABS noted that the solid job growth in February followed a larger-than-usual number of people in December who had a job they were waiting to start or return to. With seasonal issues, again evident in the data, it will cause some hesitation in reading too much into the headline number. That said, it is hard to escape the fact that the unemployment rate, which is probably the cleanest read, has fallen back to 3.7%, where it was six months ago.

ASX 200 stocks

Banking sector

Despite the robust jobs data sending Australian bond yields higher across the curve, the interest rate sensitive ASX 200 sectors have outperformed.

  • NAB: +2.50% to $34.75
  • Westpac: + 1.75% to $26.64
  • CBA: +1.56% to $117.44
  • Macquarie: + 1.14% to $198.98
  • ANZ: + 1.03% to $28.98

Property sector

The ASX 200 property sector hit a fresh two-year high today

  • Goodman Group: +2.4% to $31.16
  • Mirvac: +2.34% to $2.19
  • REA Group: + 2.05% to $188.56
  • Centuria Group: +1.4% to $1.82

Tech stocks

With the Fed out of the way for another six weeks and the buzz around tech and AI set to retake its place in the driver’s seat, local tech stocks have not hesitated to build on recent gains.

  • Zip: +8% to $1.49
  • Tyro Payments: +3.13% to $1.07
  • Xero: +2.88% to $136.01
  • Life360: + 2.58% to $13.29

ASX 200 technical analysis

After today’s thumping rally, the ASX 200 is set to close above the uptrend support at 7750 that it broke below last week. This development negates the short-term downside risks and opens up a retest of the all-time high of 7853 in the sessions ahead before a push towards 7950.

ASX 200 daily chart

Source: TradingView

  • Source: TradingView. The figures stated are as of 21 March 2024. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This report does not contain and is not to be taken as containing any financial product advice or financial product recommendation.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Ltd and IG Markets South Africa Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

Explore the markets with our free course

Discover the range of markets you can spread bet on - and learn how they work - with IG Academy's online course.

Turn knowledge into success

Practice makes perfect. Take what you’ve learned in this shares strategy article, and try it out risk-free in your demo account.

Ready to trade shares?

Put the lessons in this article to use in a live account. Upgrading is quick and simple.

  • Trade over 16,000 popular global stocks
  • Protect your capital with risk management tools
  • Deal on 70 key US stocks out-of-hours, so you can react to news

Inspired to trade?

Put the knowledge you’ve gained from this article into practice. Log in to your account now.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only

Plan your trading week

Get the week’s market-moving news sent directly to your inbox every Monday. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming economic events, as well as commentary from our expert analysts on the key markets to watch.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.