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Aussie shares are lifting strongly on Friday, with the ASX 200 up 0.84 per cent to 6,770.5 thanks to gains across 11 of 12 sectors. The market remains on track to lift for a second consecutive week should the enthusiasm not fade this afternoon. For most of the week, the ASX 200 hit its highs in the first hour of trade before falling back in late trade, highlighting some cautiousness on the part of investors.

Last night, US markets remained around record highs as President Biden signed the US$1.9 trillion stimulus bill, which received the necessary Congressional support this week.

All sectors are currently higher, with technology and energy stocks standing out. Cloud accounting company Xero (XRO) and buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay (APT) are leading the S&P/ASX 200 Tech index higher. Iron ore miners BHP, Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue Metals (FMG) are all lifting strongly after majors slumped mid-week due to a significant pullback in the metal’s price. Iron ore prices fell by 6.1 per cent in just one session on Wednesday due to a key steel producing region in China imposing restrictions in a bid to reduce pollution.

Travel stocks are underperforming after the Federal Government’s support package for parts of the tourism industry pushed many higher on Thursday. Flight Centre (FLT) – which was the best improver on the ASX 200 yesterday – is down 3.8 per cent, while Webjet (WEB), Qantas (QAN) and Corporate Travel (CTD) are all slightly lower. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there has been a 75 per cent lift in the number of internet search for domestic travel over the past day.

JB Hi-Fi (JBH), Baby Bunting (BBN), Bapcor (BAP), Credit Corp (CCP) and Argo Investments (ARG) are all paying eligible investors dividends today. Tassal (TGR), WiseTech (WTC) and Contact Energy (CEN) are trading ex-dividend.

Southern Cross Media (SXL) is down 9.6 per cent after Nine decided to not renew its TV affiliation agreement with the media company. The current contract expires on 30 June. SXL has been broadcasting Nine’s free-to-air content in regional areas of QLD, NSW and VIC since July 2016. Nine Entertainment (NEC) has switched its regional TV affiliation to the WIN Network.

Breville (BRG) Chief Executive Jim Clayton sold 328,338 shares in the company to ‘…facilitate the purchase of a residence in Australia and to satisfy personal tax obligations’. While the media release did not specify the executed share price, at current prices it is approximately $8.7m. Mr Clayton still holds ~180,000 shares.

No major economic data is due in Australia today.

3.5bn shares have changed hands so far today worth a light $2.7bn, with 881 stocks higher, 403 down and 345 unchanged.

Published by CommSec