Aussie shares have bounced back from a slow start, with the ASX 200 lifting by 0.4 per cent to 5,965.7 at lunch thanks largely to gains from major banks and miners. This follows a 1 per cent decline on the open following a weak lead from Wall Street, Dow Futures pointing to another sluggish start to US trade tonight and continued concerns of the coronavirus’ continued spread.
The Australian market rose by 1.6 per cent last week and is still up by ~3 per cent in June, with just six and a half trading days remaining this month and financial year. The ASX 200 however, continues to face resistance at 6,000pts; a level the index has been unable to remain above for long in recent weeks. This highlights that some of the buying enthusiasm observed in April and May has died down a touch in recent weeks.
The further spread of the coronavirus continues to keep markets somewhat on edge. In recent weeks the focus has been on fears of a second wave in some US states and in China’s capital, Beijing. Over the weekend however, Victoria decided to tighten some of its restrictions due to a spike in numbers. This has had an impact on some tourism and travel sensitive stocks. Qantas (QAN) is down 3.2 per cent, Sydney Airport (SYD) is down 1 per cent, Flight Centre (FLT), Webjet (WEB) and Crown (CWN) are all down by around 4 per cent at the risk of borders being shut for longer.
Transurban (TCL) is down 2.5 per cent after the toll road operator said it will pay a smaller unfranked 16c per security final distribution for the six months ending 30 June 2020 following a significant drop in traffic numbers on its toll roads. Average daily traffic earlier this month on its roads fell 31 per cent in Melbourne, 14 per cent in Brisbane and 9 per cent in Sydney. Its US toll road traffic fell by a more significant 43 per cent. The distribution is almost half last year’s payment.
Harvey Norman (HVN) is down by just 2 cents or 0.6 per cent despite trading ex-dividend for its 6c per share special dividend today.
SEEK (SEK) is up 0.65 per cent after the job search website owner provided earnings estimates for the year. SEK said its best estimate of FY20 revenue is ~$1,575m and EBITDA of ~$410m, which is largely in-line with its rough estimates provided for illustrative purposes in early April.
2.7bn shares have changed hands so far worth $3.4bn. 534 stocks are up, 648 down and 359 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec