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Aussie shares have been unable to remain in positive territory despite a better start, with the ASX 200 down 0.3 per cent to 5,556.5. On the open, the Aussie market was up by ~0.6 per cent, lifting for a fifth straight day and marking the longest winning streak in four months for local equities. On a number of occasions so far this week, 5600pts has been tested on the ASX 200, with the market unable to remain above the resistance level for long.

The US market offered a positive lead, lifting by as much as 2 per cent thanks to strong gains from tech stocks. Results from some American retailers overnight suggested some pick-up in consumer spending while all 50 US states have begun reopening their economies. Hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine

remain, despite a useable vaccine likely being at least months away.

Energy stocks are standing out at lunch thanks to continued gains in oil prices. US oil prices rose by 4.8 per cent overnight, taking the gains to around 30 per cent in just a week. US oil inventories have fallen in the past week according to a report out last night while stock at a major US delivery hub has also fallen. Oil prices turned negative for the first time in recent months partly due to a shortage of storage capacity in the US.

Iron ore miners are slightly lower at lunch, with the price of the commodity recording its first decline of the week. Iron ore prices fell by 1.9 per cent, however have improved by around 15 per

cent over the past fortnight partly thanks to supply constraints in Brazil and Chinese demand. On the Australia-China trade front, a report in the AFR suggests that China is changing rules around the way it conducts iron ore inspections. Iron ore is by far Australia’s largest export (+50% of exports).

Afterpay (APT) has hit a fresh all-time high this morning. The buy-now-pay-later company said it now has over 5 million active customers in the US. It has had over 1 million new users over the past 10 weeks.

Droneshield (DRO) is up 57 per cent on news its DroneGun Tactical product was selected by the European Union police forces. DRO expects this deal to result in a material lift in sales.

Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) is down 7 per cent after the poker machine game maker recorded a 14.2 per cent decline in half year profit due to the closure of casinos, clubs and pubs.

2.6bn shares have changed hands so far worth $3.6bn. 575 stocks are up, 514 down and 343 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec