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The Aussie market has struggled for much consistency this week with the ASX 200 rebounding from its declines on Thursday. The index is trading 47 points or 0.8% higher to 5984 in the first several hours of trade. Local gains are despite a rather uninspired lead from Wall Street with a mixed performance for major US indices. Investors continue to weigh up news of increased infections in parts of the US, although President Trump commented that further lockdowns were unlikely.

Today’s gain is helping local shares regain most of the 2.5% loss from the week before as the benchmark index tries to climb back above 6,000 points. Improvements have been broad based with all sectors advancing. Financials, communications, IT and retailing are leading the charge higher. Materials are underperforming eking out a small lift.

The major banks are mostly higher as much as 0.5%. Of the big 4, only ANZ Bank (ANZ) is weaker. Other
heavyweight names such as CSL Ltd (CSL), Wesfarmers (WES) and Transurban (TCL) are the other major
contributors to broader gains. Major miners BHP Group (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) are acting as a weight with declines of up to 0.4%.

Retailers like Adairs (ADH) and Nick Scali (NCK) have rallied as both provided positive sales updates over the second half. ADH, which is a homewares retailer, saw modest growth in store but online sales soared 92% on the year before. Sales for the financial year to date are up 15% while it also reinstated sales forecast of $385-390m for FY20. ADH shares are up 12%.

While Nick Scali saw sales declined during the peak lockdown period of March and April, sales orders picked up during May and June which is likely to lead to a strong uplift in profit for the first quarter of FY21. NCK will also bring forward its deferred $0.25 interim dividend to 29 June from 2 October. NCK shares are 21% higher. Splitit (SPT) is again jumping after the payments platform operator doubled in value yesterday after signing a deal with Mastercard. It is up another 24% today.

The Aussie dollar is also managing a slight lift against the greenback as it buys 68.57 US cents. So far, 2.1b units have traded worth $3b with 712 stocks higher, 367 lower and 343 unchanged.

Published by CommSec