Local shares are lifting on Friday as gains are extending into a fourth successive session. The ASX 200 is firmer by 15 points or 0.25% to 6048 around 12.30pm but has given back some of its earlier improvements where it was up 70 points or 1.1% at its best levels.
Advances on the Aussie market follows a stronger session on Wall St as US jobs data beat consensus expectations with 4.8 million jobs added in June. US market gains tapered in late trade as the rise in US Covid-19 cases remains a concern across several states.
The Aussie benchmark index is on track for its best weekly improvement in a month with a gain of 2.5% helped by advances across the majority of sectors on Friday. So far, healthcare has been a standout with consumer staples and communications also making significant moves higher. The property sector is leading declines.
Some of the largest individual contributors to the market moves includes biotech firm CSL Ltd (CSL) which is firming 1.7%, Telstra (TLS) up 3% and BHP Group (BHP) which is adding 0.5%. Holding the market back somewhat has been losses for National Bank (NAB), Rio Tinto and AdBri (ABC) formerly known as Adelaide Brighton.
Adbri (ABC) is also the largest percentage decliner as it slides 25% after a subsidiary, Cockburn Cement, has lost a lucrative lime supply contract with Alcoa which will expire in June next year. The contract adds approximately $70 million in annual revenue.
Cochlear (COH) is one of the biggest improvers with a 5.5% lift after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved four new hearing solution products and are expected to be released in North America and Western Europe in the next few months.
In economic news, retail sales for May rebounded 16.9% and beating consensus expectations. Sales fell 17.7% in April due to impacts from Covid-19 shutdowns. Food retailing jumped sharply and is now above pre-virus levels. The Aussie dollar hasn’t reacted too much to the release as it buys 69.25 US cents.
So far, 3.2b units have traded worth $2.8b with 595 stocks higher, 530 weaker and 333 unchanged.
Published by CommSec