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The Australian sharemarket is edging higher for a second day, shaking off a fifth consecutive weak lead from Wall Street. The ASX 200 is up 0.2 per cent thanks mainly to gains from mining and energy stocks. Losses from the banks, tech stocks and property companies are weighing on our market.

While there is a lack of major data and events today, this will change from Tuesday. Highlights this week are likely to include a speech by RBA boss Philip Lowe, a handful of economic updates in China on Wednesday and the highly anticipated August employment report. This is likely to show the impact recent lockdowns have had on job losses in Australia. CBA economists consider it possible that ~300,000 jobs were lost in August mainly due to the NSW lockdown. The impact of Victoria’s lockdown, which came later, will probably show up most in next month’s report.

Sydney Airport (SYD) is lifting by close to 5 per cent after receiving a sweetened $8.75 per share takeover today from Sydney Aviation Alliance. The consortium led by IFM most recently made an $8.45 per share bid following an initial $8.25 offer. SYD has granted the suitors an initial four-week period of due diligence.

Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) is up by 4 per cent. A major broker raised its forecasts for ALL’s share price over the next 12 months. The timing of the news coincided with the lift in the poker machine game maker’s shares today.

The ACCC has turned down the idea of a proposed alliance between Qantas (QAN) and Japan Airlines, intended at coordinating flights between Australia and Japan. The reason is that combined pre-pandemic, they were accounting for 85 per cent of flights between both nations. The ACCC deems it likely an alliance would reduce competition. QAN shares are down by ~1 per cent.

While over 30 companies will trade ex-dividend this week, none are large enough to significantly hold the market back. Over the past fortnight, both BHP and Fortescue (FMG) weighed on the ASX 200 due to the size of their dividend payments. Today, Healius (HLS), HUB24 (HUB), Regis Resources (RRL), Grange Resources (GRR) and Chorus (CNU) are all trading ex-dividend. Computershare (CPU) will pay eligible investors a 23c per share final dividend.

4.2bn shares have changed hands so far worth $3.2bn. 700 stocks rose, 672 fell and 405 finished unchanged.

Published by CommSec