The Aussie market is looking to finish the week with an improvement. At lunch, the ASX 200 is lifting 36 points or 0.5% to 7,523 around midday. This follows US markets lifting with the S&P500 hitting fresh record highs. Wall Street was buoyed by solid economic data relating to the US labour market and trade balance.
With the improvements so far today, the ASX 200 is on track for a weekly advance of 33 points or 0.45%. It would also make it a second consecutive weekly gain.
Helping to drive the market today has been the performance of the resources sectors. While most sectors
are improving, energy is leading the market as global oil markets added 2% overnight with traders confident the global oil market can absorb additional supply from producers while Hurricane Ida has restricted production on the US gulf coast.
Materials are also firmer despite a mixed performance for commodity prices. Both gold and iron ore were weaker in the overnight session. The healthcare sector is another support for the market as are financials with the majority of the big four banks climbing. IT and communications are the main underperformers.
In company news, enterprise software firm, TechnologyOne (TNE) is 2.8% higher after announcing it
has agreed to acquire a UK company called Scientia Resource Management which services the higher education sector. It will cost approximately £12 million which includes an initial payment of £6 million and further earn-out payments.
ClearView Wealth (CVW) has announced a strategic review of its business as it looks to unlock and enhance value for shareholders. This includes the potential for a takeover. CVW has the support of its largest shareholder, Crescent Capital Partners. CVW shares are up 14.8%.
On the economic front, retail spending for July was 2.7% weaker than in June while it was down 3.1% compared to July a year ago. Online sales managed to soar 19.3% to record highs in July. Chinese Services PMI for August fell to 46.7 from 54.9 in July. A reading below 50 mans a contraction in activity. It is the lowest reading since April 2020.
The AUD has risen to 74.06 US cents.
Published by CommSec