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The Aussie market is overcoming a slow start to trade higher at lunch on Friday. The ASX 200 started the day in the red with the index falling as much as 28pts or 0.36% in the opening 30 minutes or so. It has since recovered to lift 14 points or 0.2% to 7,316 at midday. This follows investors in the US brushing off the sharp rise in US inflation over May with the S&P 500 index managing to hit a new record high. The Dow Jones and NASDAQ both also improved.

The ASX 200 is also on track for a weekly improvement of 20 points or 0.3% if it can hold onto current levels, making it a fourth week of gains in a row.

Today, financials were weighing on the broader market early and are still the main underperformer in the opening few hours of trade. The big four banks are all lower with ANZ Bank (ANZ) falling most, down 1.5%. The technology sector is the standout performer as buy-now pay-later (BNPL) stocks rally, Afterpay (APT) is 4.3% higher and back above $100 per share, while communications and materials are also lifting significantly.

In company news, Premier Investments (PMV) – the company behind brands such as Smiggle, Portmans, Peter
Alexander and Jay Jays – released a trading update with the retail group experiencing a sharp 70% lift in sales globally for the first 18 weeks of 2H21 compared to 12 months ago. It also managed to improve sales by 15.8% on the same period in 2H19. The Easter school holiday period was particularly strong. As a result, PMV has upgraded its FY21 earnings before interest & taxes (EBIT) to be in the range of $340 million and $360 million. PMV is up 0.5%.

Crown Resorts (CWN) is down 1.7% on an announcement by the Victorian Government in relation to the current Royal Commission into its Melbourne casino. The investigation will be extended to 15 October 2021, from 1 August, with matters investigated widening to include corporate culture, gambling harm minimisation and underpaid casino taxes.

Domino’s Pizza (DMP) is rising 1.4% as the pizza chain has agreed to acquire the corporate stores and franchise rights to Domino’s Taiwan for A$79 million. Domino’s Taiwan operates 157 stores in total and is the second largest pizza chain in Taiwan.

The Aussie dollar is buying 77.54 US cents.

Published by CommSec