Aussie shares are off to a better start on Friday, with the ASX 200 lifting by 0.5 per cent thanks to gains from most sectors at lunch. The index is back above 6200pts and is enjoying its best gains in what has been a quiet week for local equities.
Despite plenty of state holidays in Australia in coming days, the sharemarket will still be trading normally. Victorians observe the AFL Grand Final Day holiday today while Monday marks a holiday across four states and territories.
Energy stocks remain the best performers thanks to oil bouncing back and once again approaching four-year highs. Concerns of some supply problems when US sanctions kick in on November 4 has kept prices elevated. Beach Energy (BPT) is a standout with investors reacting positively to the oil and gas company’s future plans announced at an investor day yesterday.
CIMIC (CIM) is up 1 per cent and has been awarded a contract from the Victorian government to do work on the Metro Tunnel Project for seven years. It expects this to add $400m to the group’s revenues.
Navitas (NVT) is up 2.5 per cent as it continues its expansionin the Netherlands. The education company signed a five year deal with a Dutch university to run a pathway college.
Media reports Telstra (TLS) has refunded $9.3m to over 70,000 customers due to overbilling is not impacting the telco’s shares.TLS is up 0.2 per cent at lunch.
The banks have by far been the hardest hit this week. Westpac (WBC) is leading most of the majors lower today. The banks warned its full year profits will be $235m lower this year as it puts funds aside to deal with customer refunds, legal costs and associated penalties.
The greenback rose last night as the Fed raised short-term interest rates for a third time this year and seems on track to continue lifting rates over the next six months. The firmer US dollar pushed most metals lower however mining stocks are up as much as 1 per cent.
On Sunday two updates on the state of China’smanufacturing industry are due for release. Although a number of states will be on holiday Monday, the data is likely to receive attention from economists.
934.9m shares have changed hands so far today worth $3.3bn. 556 stocks are up, 326 down and 357 are flat.
Published by CommSec