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Aussie shares are lifting for the first time since last Wednesday, with the ASX 200 up by 0.88 per cent to 6,866.7. This is not only enough to easily recoup all of last week’s losses, it keeps the market ~0.6 per cent away from an 11-month high, ~2 per cent shy of 7000pts and around 5 per cent below the pre-COVID record highs hit in February 2020.

Travel stocks are holding up well despite the Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble being suspended for the next three days as Auckland enters a lockdown. While shares in Qantas (QAN), Flight Centre (FLT) and Webjet (WEB) are up, all three fell by between 4- 10 per cent last week as Victoria entered a five-day snap lockdown.

The next two weeks will be the busiest of the year for half year profit results, with over 100 companies set to post earnings this week alone. Australia’s three largest iron ore miners, BHP, Rio Tinto (RIO), Fortescue Metals (FMG), Adairs, Ansell, Redbubble, Coles, Wesfarmers and more will post results over the week.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) is up 9.5 per cent after the bank handed down a 1.9 per cent lift in 1H21 cash earnings to $219.7m. Home lending jumped by 14 per cent and customer deposits by 12.9 per cent over the half. Bad and Doubtful debt charges were significantly lower while BEN has brought back its dividend for the first time since March last year. BEN will pay eligible investors a 23.5c interim dividend.

Seven West Media (SWM) is up 6.4 per cent after returning to profitability, making $116.2m over the six months to December 31. Cost cutting measures helped to offset a drop in advertising income during the pandemic. SWM was upbeat about the months ahead and struck a partnership with Google.

Nearmap (NEA) has resumed trade, lifting by 12.5 per cent. The aerial mapping company entered a trading halt last Thursday due to a short seller’s report, which was critical of its US performance and pushed its shares 7.3 per cent lower. NEA has rejected the claims and reduced its loss, posting a $9.4m half year loss.

JB Hi-Fi (JBH) is up 2.2 per cent after handing down its results. Sales rose by 23.7 per cent to $4.9bn over the half. Online sales surged 161.7 per cent to $678.8m due to the pandemic. JB HI-FI Australia sales rose 23.3 per cent to $3.4bn, The Good Guys sales rose 26.4 per cent, while growth in its NZ unit was more modest.

3.8bn shares have changed hands so far, worth $2.6bn. 820 stocks are up, 505 down and 365 are unchanged. Markets in China, Hong Kong, the US and Canada will all remain closed on Monday due to public holidays.

Looking forward, three of the big banks will post quarterly updates this week (NAB on Tuesday, Westpac on Wednesday and ANZ on Thursday). An update on January jobs growth is due on Thursday.

Published by CommSec