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The Aussie market is off to a better start this holiday shortened week, with the ASX 200 index up 0.25 per cent despite a pullback in US equities on Friday. Local shares are being pushed higher by gains from the banks and miners at lunch.
Aussie stocks have improved by ~2 per cent so far in April, making it the best month since October for the ASX 200. April tends to be a decent month for markets thanks partly to dividend payments and ahead of most of the banks trading ex-dividend in May.
Locally, a highlight this week will be updates on consumer inflation (CPI) due Tuesday before ANZAC Day will keep markets closed on Wednesday. Across the region North and South Korean leaders are set to hold a summit this Friday. Data across Asia will be light while an update on China’s industrial profits will be a highlight. In the US, the latest GDP figures will be key at the end of the week.
While most of the banks are up, AMP Limited (AMP) remains under pressure. The money manager fell by 10 per cent last week after facing the Royal Commission.
US sanctions on Russia have pushed aluminium prices to ~seven-year highs which has helped lift producers of the metal. South32 (S32) – which was a standout last week – is up another 1 per cent. S32 has surge by ~14 per cent in a week.
Brambles (BXB) is down slightly at lunch. Media reports suggest Slater & Gordon (SGH) has announced a proposed class action against the pallet maker due to misleading investors over future profits.
Online retailer Kogan.com (KGN) is down 4.5 per cent despite saying revenues have shot up by 46 per cent between January and March. KGN shares are still up by ~30 per cent this year.
iSelect (SIU) is down 50 per cent after cutting its profit guidance substantially and announcing the resignation of its CEO. ISU said mainly due to a weak second half and sluggish market conditions in the past five weeks, it expects FY18 underlying profits to be in the range of $8-$12m (previously $26-$29m).
1.4bn shares have been traded so far today worth $1.5bn. 458 stocks are up, 549 are down and 387 are flat. 
Published by CommSec