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The Aussie market is bouncing back from last Friday’s losses and starting the new month on a positive note. The ASX 200 is lifting 7 points or 0.1% to 7,032 around midday but is off the earlier highs of the morning. Local shares are firmer even as US markets fell on Friday.

While the benchmark index is advancing, there are actually more sectors in the red in the red than in the green. The main contributor to improvements has been the financials sector while communications and property are also enjoying decent gains. Healthcare is experiencing the smallest lift. Leading declines is IT while materials and energy are also among leading decliners on weaker commodity prices.

Westpac Bank (WBC) is the largest individual contributor to market advances. The big four bank is adding ~12pts to the ASX 200 as it climbs 4.5% on the release of its first half profit results. Cash earnings for the bank more than tripled on the year before to $3.54 billion, beating analyst expectations. The big boost was supported by an impairment benefit from an improved economic outlook. WBC will also pay a $0.58/share interim dividend. ANZ Bank (ANZ) and National Bank (NAB) are also due to release earnings this week.

Premier Investments (PMV) announced today that it will look to repay a $15.6 million Jobkeeper benefit from the first half of FY21 to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), which it was originally going to keep to use in case of any future lockdowns. The repayment is not expected to impact PMV’s FY21 earnings (EBIT) expectations. PMV shares are down 1.5%. Toll road operator, Transurban (TCL) is 0.6% softer following an investor briefing.

Property group Ingenia (INA) has agreed to acquire a portfolio of five coastal holiday parks while also purchasing a parcel of land in Bargara, QLD with approval for a 344- home lifestyle community. The combined purchase price is ~$40 million.

In economic news, home prices continued to rise broadly in April with national home prices up 1.8% for the month. House prices rose faster than apartments across the capital cities.

The Aussie dollar has eased a touch to 77.2 US cents

Published by CommSec