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US stocks drop, ASX gains

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The S&P/ASX 200 closed up on Friday, gaining 95 points, or 1.3%, to 7453.

Two of the biggest gainers for the day included Medibank Private and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, up 5.9% and 5.8% respectively.

Over the past five days, the index is virtually unchanged, but is currently 2.35% below its 52-week high.

Investor attention turns to the US non-farm payrolls for December that prints later tonight US time.

Australian building-products maker James Hardie Industries Plc removed Jack Truong as chief executive officer, saying employees had “raised concerns about his work-related interactions.”

An investigation into Truong’s conduct by the company’s board and a third-party consultant found that the CEO’s actions, “while not discriminatory, extensively and materially breached the James Hardie Code of Conduct,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. James Hardie named Harold Wiens, a nonexecutive director who has worked at 3M Co, as interim CEO. Shares dropped as much as 9% at the open and closed down 4%.

Woolworths has withdrawn its takeover bid to buy Australian Pharmaceutical Industries “following the completion of a comprehensive due diligence process” clearing the way for Wesfarmers’ takeover bid. The supermarket chain pulled its $1.75 non-binding proposal to acquire 100 per cent of shares in API, which owns major brands Priceline and Soul Pattinson, claiming concerns with financial returns.

US markets

US stocks extended losses from the previous session on Thursday with the Dow Jones erasing more than 150 points, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closing 0.1% lower.

Big tech stocks continued to decline as investors rotated out of high valuation names, with Tesla and Netflix falling more than 2% and Apple erasing more than 1%.

Bloomberg is reporting that GameStop Corp. plans to launch a marketplace for nonfungible tokens for gamers by the end of the year, according to a person familiar with the matter, sending shares of the beleaguered gaming retailer soaring in extended trading.

The company, which is in the midst of a turnaround to focus on digital sales rather than brick-and-mortar shops, is also in talks with crypto and blockchain companies about which tokens could be used on the NFT marketplace, the person said, asking not to be named discussing details that aren’t yet public.

Europe markets

European stocks fell from records on Thursday, with Frankfurt's DAX 30 ending 1.4% lower at 16,045 and other major European bourses dropping between 0.1% and 1.8%, amid a global selloff in technology shares and bonds.

AUD US71.64c

Bitcoin $US41,816

Brent $US82.69 a barrel

WTI crude $US80.22 a barrel

Gold $US1790.91 an ounce

Silver $US22.10 an ounce

Articles from OPTO





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