Healthcare and IT lead ASX higher

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Mar 30, 2020, in Market Wrap

The Australian stock market opened on a positive note today, ignoring the negative lead from the US, but arguably playing catch up against the strong run experienced by the Dow Jones last week, as it rallied from less than 19,000 points to pass 22,500 points before closing at 21,636 points.

It was a very different story at home last week with the S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) trading erratically before finishing at 4842 points, only slightly above the previous Friday’s close.

While the index was up by about 65 points at midday, this followed a period in negative territory not long after the open.

Consequently, these aren’t the signs of a market ready to rebound, understandably so given the constant flow of negative news on the business front, and the fact that initiatives announced on the weekend will only further dampen the stressed business environment, and an Australian economy struggling under the burden of continually dipping into the coffers to assist with social and business packages.

One of the interesting themes to look out for though are telehealth stocks which have come to the forefront after the government put in place several measures to allow consumers access to health professionals via telephones and digital links.

These stocks generally sit outside of the ASX 200, but they have delivered some outstanding gains on Monday morning.

Two of the best performers were HeraMed (HMD +25%) and ResApp Health Limited (RAP +43%) with the latter announcing on Monday morning that it had completed an initial integration of ResAppDx-EU into Coviu’s telehealth platform.

This integration will allow clinicians using Coviu’s platform to perform a remote respiratory assessment using ResApp’s clinically validated and Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved diagnostic test.

ResApp and Coviu have signed a binding commercial terms sheet and have agreed upon a per test fee for the use of ResAppDx-EU on Coviu’s telehealth platform.

The per-test fee received by ResApp is within the previously targeted range of $5.00 to $10.00 per test.

What is ResApp?

Healthcare stocks lead market higher

Not surprisingly, it was the Healthcare Sector which includes a number of companies with heavy index weighting that helped to provide positive momentum for the broader market.

The S&P/ASX 200 Healthcare Index (ASX: XHJ) surged more than 4.9%, led higher by Ansell (ASX: ANN), a global manufacturer and distributor of health and safety protection solutions.

Aside from the relevance of Ansell’s products in relation to the coronavirus, the company also reaffirmed its 2020 earnings guidance on Monday morning - setting it apart from most other companies which are either withdrawing guidance or lowering their expectations.

While Ansell led the way with a gain of 18%, there were also strong performances from Cochlear (COH +7.3%) and diagnostics groups, Pro Medicus (PME +8%) and Sonic Healthcare (SHL +4.3%).

The latter two companies should benefit from an uptick in medical tests.

Information Technology was another strong performer with the XIJ index up nearly 3%.

It would appear that investors are targeting companies with particularly strong intellectual property that should remain resilient despite challenging conditions.

These included Altium (ALU +5.2%), Appen (APX +5%) and NEXTDC (NXT +6.4%), with the latter having reaffirmed its fiscal 2020 revenue and underlying earnings guidance in mid-March.

Importantly, the majority of NEXTDC’s income is derived from contracted and recurring revenues with counterparties carrying investment-grade credit ratings.

Property -related stocks cop a hit

Given the pressure on savings and disposable income, it isn’t surprising to see property related stocks out of favour.

The REIT Index (XPJ) was down more than 1% and the S&P/ASX 200 Materials Index (XMJ), home to both mining companies and building materials stocks was down 1.7%.

It was a mixed bag across the building materials sector with BlueScope Steel (BSL) up 3%, while Boral (BLD) and Brickworks (BKW) were down 4.5% and 1.4% respectively.

Elsewhere, Fletcher Building (FBU) was a casualty as it lost 3.4% and CSR (CFSR) was also in the red, down 1%.

With more shops closing it wouldn’t have been surprising to see the S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Discretionary Index (XDJ) succumb to further pressure.

However, the index was up 2.7% and there were strong performances from takeaway foods chain Collins Foods (CKF +4.2%), travel group Corporate Travel Ltd (CTD +4.6%) and provider of gaming equipment, Aristocrat Leisure (ALL +4.1%).

In the financial sector, the big banks were all in the black, pushing the index 2% higher.

Across the four big banks, the Commonwealth led the way with a gain of 3.1%, followed by ANZ (+1.2%), NAB (+0.6%) and Westpac (+2.5%).

Insurance Australia Group (IAG +5%) was the best performer in the sector.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When the experts at Next Investors have a stock pick, it may pay to listen.

The Next Investors have been investing in ASX small cap stocks for years, with their best small cap picks yielding returns of 1,200%, 1,120%, 900% and 678%.

They have just revealed their hand-picked, FY2021 stock portfolio of high conviction long-term investments.

Click the link below to see what they are currently investing in.


S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (CAR No.433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information only. Any advice is general advice only. Neither your personal objectives, financial situation nor needs have been taken into consideration. Accordingly you should consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to those objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.

Conflict of Interest Notice

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd does and seeks to do business with companies featured in its articles. As a result, investors should be aware that the Firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this article. Investors should consider this article as only a single factor in making any investment decision. The publishers of this article also wish to disclose that they may hold this stock in their portfolios and that any decision to purchase this stock should be done so after the purchaser has made their own inquires as to the validity of any information in this article.

Publishers Notice

The information contained in this article is current at the finalised date. The information contained in this article is based on sources reasonably considered to be reliable by S3 Consortium Pty Ltd, and available in the public domain. No “insider information” is ever sourced, disclosed or used by S3 Consortium.

Australian ASX Small Cap stocks | Why is Australia’s leading small cap publication

Founded seven years ago, is Australia’s leading and longest standing website for investor and finance news, education and expert opinion.

Published by StocksDigital, Finfeed was created to report daily on the comings and goings of ASX listed stocks in the small cap market.

As the first digital publication dedicated specifically to this space, Finfeed soon became the most trusted publication in the market, quickly garnering over two million page views – a number that continues to rise. provides its readers with informative articles that tackle the latest in market moving #ASX small cap news, plus exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else. It is aimed at those with an interest in investing, market education, company performance, start-ups and much more. is the only media organisation operating under the strength of a Financial Services License and is backed by leading journalists and analysts all with brands of their own.

The website aims to inform, educate and entertain with content that drills down into the heart of financial matters.

Finfeed is a leading source of investor and market information, with everything investors need to know about how to invest written in a way that anyone can understand. 

Over the years, the website has expanded beyond exclusively reporting on small caps, to profile Australia’s leading ASX listed small, mid and large caps as well as some of the country’s most successful CEOs and business leaders to find out what makes them tick.

Every day you will find fresh content covering:

Fast Facts

Over 4,000 articles published

Over 2.3 Million Page Views and counting

Over 10,000 followers on social media

Subscriber list growing by 2% monthly

Thanks for subscribing!