Aussie shares are lifting for a third day, with the ASX 200 up 0.38 per cent to 6,741.1 in what has been a messy week for local equities. The US market was a touch lower overnight in anticipation of details of a massive US government support package.

At 9am AEDT (one hour after US market close), news broke that Joe Biden intends to ask Congress to spend an additional US$1.9tn on an economic rescue plan. According to the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal this will include new direct payments to Americans, aid for state and local governments and more funding to deal with the coronavirus. Sadly, a record 4,327 people died in the US from the virus yesterday. This rescue plan follows the US$3 trillion package at the start of the pandemic and US$900bn in support passed last month.

The local market is being held up by BHP, Afterpay (APT), the big banks and energy stocks.

Tyro (TYR) – which is down 11.8 per cent so far today – entered a temporary pause in trading at 11:49am AEDT ahead of a company announcement. TYR shares have slumped by 29 per cent so far this week after experiencing connectivity issues with a number of its EFTPOS terminals.

Afterpay (APT) has hit another record high this morning and is one of the main contributors to the market’s total gains. Worley (WOR) has been awarded a contract by Schering-Plough Animal Health for services to upgrade its animal vaccine plant in New Zealand. Under the contract, WOR will provide procurement and construction services over four years.

Both NSW and Victoria have recorded no new locally acquired cases in the past day. Shares in Qantas (QAN) are lifting by 2.5 per cent at midday.

Pro Medicus (PME) is up close to 7 per cent after surging by 15 per cent yesterday. PME is lifting after signing a seven-year $40m contract with Utah’s largest health systems provider. Orthocell (OCC) is flat after jumping 27 per cent on Thursday. OCC received FDA approval yesterday to sell a regenerative medicine product in the US.

Resolute Mining (RSG) is underperforming its peers, slumping by 6 per cent after handing down a quarterly update. RSG’s production over the 2020 calendar year was a touch below the lower end of the revised CY20 production guidance while costs were at the upper end of guidance. It also flagged a decline in output in 2021 and a lift in costs.

3.1bn shares have changed hands so far, worth $2.5bn. 699 stocks are up, 538 down and 361 are flat.

Published by Steven Daghlian – Market Analyst (Author), CommSec