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Aussie shares are trading near intraday highs at lunch, with the ASX 200 up 55 pts or 0.8 per cent to 6,704.1 thanks to strong gains from mining and financial stocks. This marks just the second gain in six days for local shares. The ASX 200 was within 1 per cent of all-time highs just two weeks ago however since then has been heading sideways in the absence of a positive fresh catalyst.

The most impressive gains are being enjoyed by gold companies, a few miners and the banks which are doing enough to offset losses from energy and industrial stocks.

National Australia Bank (NAB) is up 2.3 per cent after naming Mr Ross McEwan as its new chief executive. Mr McEwan has held executive positions at both The Royal Bank of Scotland and CBA. He is not expected to start in the new role until April 2020.

CIMIC (CIM) is down 1.2 per cent and is adding to Thursday’s 19 per cent tumble. This follows a half year profit result which fell short of the market’s expectations mainly due to a fall in earnings across its construction unit.

Lendlease (LLC) is up 1.7 per cent after signing its biggest deal yet on Thursday. The property group has partnered with Google to develop three of its sites in San Francisco. The ~A$20bn deal is expected to last 10-15 years and could boost profits.

Sydney Airport (SYD) has released its latest traffic statistics for June. The number of domestic passengers at its airport fell by 1.6 per cent to 2.1m while international passengers rose by 1.1 per cent to 1.3m. Around 21 million people have made their way through the airport since January, which is flat on last year. The fastest growing markets were Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, the US and India in June. Interestingly, passenger numbers from China fell by 1.4 per cent over the month, partly due to its slowing economy.

Paladin (PDN) said it has sold no uranium over the June quarter. Uranium prices have fallen by 11 per cent over the past three months. While PDN shares are down 20 per cent Year-toDate, its share surged by 282 per cent in 2018.

Super Retail Group (SUL) has appointed former Coles executive Paul Bradshaw as the new head of its camping and boating business, BCF.

1.4bn shares have changed hands so far on Friday worth $2.4bn. 641 stocks are up, 383 down and 363 are flat.

Published by CommSec