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Aussie shares are lifting on Monday, with the ASX 200 up 0.6 per cent to 6,578.5, following three straight weeks of gains and pushes the market to a near nine-month high. With just six full trading days left in November, the Aussie market remains on track to have its best month in 32 years and best November since the mid-1930s. While most sectors are higher at lunch, Energy stocks are the best improvers while Materials are the biggest contributors to the gains.

The tug of war between coronavirus infections and vaccine hopes continues. The United States is identifying around 1 million new cases of COVID-19 a week, resulting in more hospitalisations, which is straining the hospital system, and ultimately more deaths. Vaccine hopes for two encouraging trials in recent weeks are doing enough to offset these concerns for the time being.

In Australia, Victoria has now had 24 days with no new cases while NSW has extended its streak to 15 consecutive days. The VIC-NSW border has reopened today with the first flight from Melbourne landing in Sydney and the easing of some restrictions in Victoria. Travel stocks are mostly higher, with Qantas (QAN), Sydney Airport (SYD) and Webjet (WEB) all higher.

Helloworld (HLO) is up 4 per cent after entering an agreement to acquire cruise wholesale specialist, CruiseCo. HLO also renewed its partnership with Qantas, in a new three-year commercial agreement to sell its fares and products until 2023.

Zip Co (Z1P) is up 2 per cent after delivering another solid monthly update. Z1P’s revenue between July and October almost doubled to $93.7m while customers using its services doubled to 4.8m (on a year earlier).

Village Roadshow (VRL) is up 16 per cent after receiving an increased takeover offer from private equity firm BGH Capital to $3 per share (previously $2.32 per share).

Ampol (ALD) is up 5 per cent after announcing a $300m off-market buy-back which is planned to be completed in 1Q21. This follows the completion of a property transaction that generated ~$635m in cash.

IAG is a weight, sliding by ~5 per cent after coming out of a twoday trading halt and raising $650m from institutional investors to strengthen its balance sheet. Late last week IAG announced an $865m provision due to an adverse Court Ruling in relation to a dispute over COVID-19 insurance payments to small businesses.

Bega Cheese (BGA) is in a trading halt pending a capital raising announcement.

2.6bn shares have changed hands so far worth $2.8bn. 730 stocks are up, 500 are down and 372 are flat.

Published by CommSec