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The Australian sharemarket is losing ground for a third day, with the ASX 200 index down 0.3 per cent to 5,830.5 and down around 5 per cent since last Wednesday’s close. Investors seem to be paying very little attention to the US market’s 1.9 per cent rise on Friday, as growing fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections grips some markets.

In China, Beijing has shut the city’s largest fruit and vegetable supply centre due to dozens of positive COVID-19 tests. Japan has had its worst day in a month and a half with 47 new cases, while the US has also had a spike in cases in some states currently reopening.

Despite a 1.9 per cent lift for the Dow Jones on Friday, the index fell by almost 7 per cent a day earlier, in what still ended up being the worst weekly decline in three months for American equities.

It has been a choppy performance for local markets so far on Monday. Banks are mixed, with Wesfarmers (WES), Woolworths (WOW), Sydney Airport (SYD) and gold miners among some of the hardest hit companies. Shares in Afterpay (APT), CIMIC (CIM), Boral (BLD), Rio Tinto (RIO), Crown (CWN) and Healius (HLS) are standing out.

Super Retail (SUL) has entered a trading halt as it raises ~$203m from investors at a near 8 per cent discount to Friday’s closing price. SUL said the raising ‘will enable the continued execution of Super Retail Group’s strategy and pursuit of strategic growth initiatives’. SUL also said that sales at its stores have bounced back by 26.5 per cent (following a 26.2 per cent decline in April). Sales at Rebel and Supercheap Auto performed best while Macpac & BCF weighed on the result.

City Chic (CCX) is up 8 per cent after the retailer decided to permanently close 14 of its stores in Australia and New Zealand due to failed negotiations with landlords to lower rents. CCX has reopened its remaining 92 stores.

Healius (HLS) is up 10 per cent on the sale of its large scale medical centres and dental practices to BGH Capital for $500m. HLS said this was intended to simplify its business portfolio and will retain its small scale medical centres.

Adbri (ABC) Deputy Chairman, Mr Zlatko Todorcevski has resigned immediately to take up the CEO role at the larger building products company Boral (BLD) from July 1. BLD shares are outperforming on the news, lifting by 5.9 per cent.

2.3bn shares have changed hands, worth $3.4bn. 545 stocks are up, 583 down and 342 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec