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Aussie shares are edging higher at midday, with the ASX 200 lifting by 0.25 per cent, enough to recoup at least some of Thursday’s 0.65 per cent slide. US markets enjoyed a cautious move higher, with gains of around 0.5 per cent ahead of an influential update on jobs due tonight and the Independence Day long weekend.

This is just the second day of a new month, quarter and financial year. The Australian sharemarket (All Ordinaries Index) rose by 2.4 per cent in June, 7.7 per cent over the quarter and an impressive 26 per cent over the past 12 months. June marked the ninth straight month of gains for the Australian sharemarket; the longest winning streak in 14 years. The gains over the financial year were the best in 34 years led higher by retail stocks, financials and technology companies.

With the exception of losses from tech and mining stocks today, all other sectors are higher. Energy companies are by far the strongest performers thanks to a 2.4 per cent jump in oil prices. This followed a key meeting of major oil producers which ended with no production agreement.

Travel stocks are managing to lift despite 31 cases of COVID19 identified in NSW over the past day. Flight Centre (FLT), Webjet (WEB), Qantas (QAN) and Sydney Airport (SYD) are all higher.

Banks are also edging higher with ~$3.2bn in dividends set to be paid from National Australia Bank (NAB) and Macquarie Group (MQG). CSR, Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) and Incitec Pivot (IPL) will distribute around $230m in dividends to investors.

A2 Milk (A2M) is up 2.7 per cent after appointing Edith Bailey as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Ms Bailey’s most recent role was as Consumer Marketing Director for Danone Nutricia’s Specialised Nutrition Division in ANZ.

IDP Education (IEL) is up 18 per cent after announcing it has agreed to purchase 100 per cent of the British Council’s Indian Federal Court over claims it wrongfully denied certain policyholders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2.2bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $2.2bn. 717 stocks are up, 531 down and 395 are flat.

Originally published by Steven Daghlian – Market Analyst (Author), CommSec