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Aussie shares are surging at lunch on light volume, with the ASX 200 lifting by 2.4 per cent to 5,932.2 despite a weak lead from Wall Street, softer than expected US jobs growth in September and uncertainty with President Trump’s health. Keep in mind that the Aussie market slumped by 1.4 per cent on Friday and is coming off the back of its worst week since mid-April.

Markets are likely to remain volatile in coming days and will be most sensitive to updates from the White House and conflicting messages about President Trump’s recovery. While the president’s medical team has been upbeat over the past day, there is a risk his condition could worsen later this week. Volume is also light today due to a number of state holidays (NSW, QLD, ACT, SA), school holidays and the closure of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. China’s market will shut from Monday to Thursday.

President Trump’s positive coronavirus test aside, this week is set to be packed with company news and major events. On Tuesday, the monthly RBA Board meeting will be held, with the market pricing in a 50/50 chance of a rate cut at 2:30pm AEDT. Tomorrow night, the Federal Budget will be handed down at 7:30pm AEDT. Billions will be paid out in dividends from companies like Woolworths (WOW), CSL, Invocare (IVC), Nib (NHF), Brambles (BXB), South32 (S32), Carsales (CAR) and Bega (BGA).

Nick Scali (NCK) and Viva (VEA) are trading ex-dividend on Monday. Invocare (IVC), OZ Minerals (OZL) and Atlas Arteria (ALX) are paying investors dividends today.

All sectors are lifting at lunch, with just the defensive gold stocks coming under pressure. The price of the precious metal fell by 0.5 per cent. The price of oil slumped by 4.3 per cent on demand concerns after the US President tested positive for COVID-19. One of the worries is that this could create more caution around travelling, which is particularly negative for global oil demand as transportation accounts for two-thirds of oil consumption.

Iron ore remains steady for a second day. While iron ore trades in Singapore, prices tend to remain unchanged during China’s national holidays.

Volume is very light, with just 1.7bn shares traded worth $1.7bn due to holiday-interrupted trade. 806 stocks rose, 295 fell and 346 finished unchanged.

Published by CommSec