Latest news

Aussie shares have recovered from a softer start on the final trading day of the month, with the ASX 200 up by 0.24 per cent to 6,088.5 at lunch on Monday. As long as the market dodges an unlikely decline of ~2.5 per cent today, August will mark the fifth straight monthly advance for the local bourse. The US market offered a positive lead, after both the S&P500 and tech heavy Nasdaq hit record highs.

The main weight on the market at lunch is Fortescue Metals (FMG), which is down 7.8 per cent or $1.48 as it trades exdividend. The iron ore miner will pay investors a record $1 per share final dividend on 2 October. FMG shares have surged by ~65 per cent Year-to-Date, hitting record highs recently thanks to a lift in iron ore prices.

National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced the sale of its superannuation and advice business, MLC to money manager IOOF (IFL) for $1,440m. NAB first announced its intention to sell MLC back in 2018, so it hasn’t come as a significant surprise to the market, with NAB shares up 0.6 per cent. IFL has entered a trading halt as it will receive most of the funds necessary for the acquisition from the market (institutional share placement) and via debt. Will only use $40m in cash.

Mosaic (MOZ) is up 20 per cent on news the retailer has reopened Westfield stores over the weekend. This follows a ‘mutually agreeable outcome’ to their negotiations with Scentre Group. MOZ continues to anticipate the potential closure of 300-500 stores over the next 12-24 months.

Monday marks the final big day of the profit reporting season. Buy-now-pay-later companies Openpay (OPY, Sezzle (SZL) and Splitit (SPT) are all sliding following the release of their latest profit results this morning. In a nutshell all three have announced strong gains in active customers and merchants together with surging revenue, however costs associated with expansion have led all three to losses.

Temple & Webster (TPW) is up 11 per cent after the online furniture retailer delivered a 266 per cent lift in FY20 NPAT to $13.9m. Business surged during the pandemic with active customers rising by 77 per cent to ~480k over the year. While TPW has decided to not pay shareholders a dividend, its shares have surged by 235 per cent to a record high in 2020. Amaysim (AYS) is up 8 per cent after its FY20 underlying EBITDA of $40.1m was ahead of company guidance of between $33- $39m. No dividend was declared.

3.4m shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.8bn. 716 stocks are up, 485 down and 365 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec