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Aussie shares are lifting strongly on Monday, with the ASX 200 improving by 1.2 per cent to 6,077.8. This is more than enough to recoup Friday’s decline thanks mostly to gains from the big banks. This follows the US market extending its winning streak to six days; the longest of the year so far. An encouraging decline in US unemployment seemed to offset continued concerns of ongoing US-China tensions. At the weekend, President Trump signed executive orders to extend a special unemployment benefit by US$300 per week (a US$600 benefit program expired on July 31 and talks in Congress collapsed last week).

Victoria identified 322 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours. While this was the lowest outcome in 12 days, it sadly was the deadliest day, with 19 deaths. NSW recorded 14 new cases.

This is set to be a big week for markets. A highlight will be an update on Aussie jobs this Thursday. The market is expecting employment to have lifting by ~85,000 jobs and for the unemployment rate to lift slightly to 7.5 per cent. Friday will be the busiest day of the month for data on China’s economy while the results of surveys on business and consumer confidence, wages, card spending and a speech by a RBA official will all receive attention. CBA, TLS, AMP, TWE, SEK, WPL and NCM are just some of the companies set to post profit results.

The big banks are lifting strongly so far today, with the majors up by as much as 2.3 per cent ahead of Commonwealth Bank’s (CBA) full year results this Wednesday.

Adairs (ADH) is up 15 per cent after the bedding and homewares retailer handed down solid annual results. Group sales rose by 12.9 per cent to $388.9m, Adairs sales rose by 4.5 per cent, while its Mocka sales jumped by 50.2 per cent. Online sales continue to grow in importance, generating $124.2m in revenue and accounting for a third of the group’s total sales. Net profit rose by 19 per cent to $35.3m. (KGN) is up by 7 per cent following yet another solid update from the online retailer. KGN added 126,000 ne customers in July, to a total 2.31m. Gross sales more than doubled (+110 per cent) on last year while gross profit surged by 160 per cent. Qantas (QAN) announced it has raised just shy of $72m from investors via a Share Purchase Plan at a slightly discounted price of $3.18 per share. The airline was aiming to raise as much as $500m.

Sigma (SIG) is up 3.5 per cent after the distributor of pharmaceutical products announced the sale of two distribution centres for $172m. It intends to use the proceeds to pay down debt.

3.8bn shares have changed hands so far today worth a light $3.1bn. 753 stocks are up, 456 down and 339 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec