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While the Australian sharemarket has faded from a stronger start, the ASX 200 is up by 0.15 per cent and continues to struggle with 6,200pts. With the final week of October kicking off, the index remains on track to have its best month since April, with the ASX 200 up ~6 per cent this month.

The next couple of weeks are set to be jam packed with company releases, central bank meetings, stimulus discussions and developments on the US political front, just nine days out from the Presidential election. Dozens of companies will post quarterlies, including Adairs (ADH), Bendigo & Adelaide Bank (BEN) and Blackmores (BKL). Four of the five largest American companies will post their quarterly earnings over the next five days (Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft). Coronavirus cases continue to concern in Europe and the US, which threatens further restrictions in the Northern Hemisphere as winter approaches.

The CommSec States of the States report was released this morning. This is a quarterly update CommSec economists have been writing for the past 12 years and ranks the economic performance of states and territories. For the second straight quarter, Tasmania was the best performing economy, leading on five of the eight indicators economists use to measure state performance. Tasmania ranked first on population growth, equipment investment, housing finance, property construction and retail spending. The ACT is in second spot (its highest ranking in just over three years). Victoria has dropped from second to third spot, while NSW shares equal fourth spot with South Australia (its highest ranking in three years).

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) is surging by 15 per cent after receiving a $9.3bn ($12.75 per share) cash takeover offer from Coca-Cola European Partners. It plans to purchase the 69 per cent interest the US parent company doesn’t already own. The US based parent company owns 30 per cent of CCL.

Four of the big five banks are set to post their profit results over the next fortnight. ANZ will kick things off this Thursday. This morning Westpac (WBC) said that profits will be reduced by $1.2bn due to ‘exceptional items’, including $816m in new items and a $415m increase in provisions associated AUSTRAC proceedings.

Adairs (ADH) is lifting after releasing a quarterly trading update. Over the past 17 weeks, total sales jumped by 22 per cent. The result was boosted by its online business, which accounted for 41 per cent of total sales.

Zip Co (Z1P) has purchased a Sydney based technology company called Urge Holdings for $3m upfront, through the issue of 432,000 Z1P shares and an additional $5.5m subject to certain performance milestones over the next 3.5 years.

4.3bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $3.4bn. 646 stocks are up, 602 are down and 385 are flat.

Published by CommSec