The Australian sharemarket is sliding by ~1 per cent at 12:10pm AEST, with mining and energy stocks weighing most heavily on the ASX 200. This largely followed similar movements in the United States on Friday due to concerns of COVID’s Delta variant’s spread. Keep in mind that despite lockdowns in Greater Sydney and Victoria, the local market rose by 1 per cent last week, making it the ASX 200’s best weekly advance in seven weeks.
The ASX 200 has been stuck between 7,200 and 7,400pts for a month and has been unable to get back to June’s record high partly due to lockdown concerns. Victorian premier Dan Andrew announced that Victoria’s five-day lockdown – which was set to end Tuesday night – will need to be extended. Greater Sydney is now in week four of its five week lockdown, with 98 cases being identified in the 24 hours to 8pm AEST last night.
Telstra (TLS) has confirmed that it is in discussions for a potential acquisition of telco Digicel Pacific’s South Pacific assets in partnership with the Australian government. Digicel is the Pacific’s largest mobile phone carrier. TLS said if the transaction would proceed, it would ‘…be with financial and strategic risk management support from the Government. Digicel Pacific was founded in 2006 by an Irish entrepreneur and is a leading provider in PNG, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Nick Scali (NCK) confirmed media speculation at ~11:30am AEST that is in non-exclusive discussions to acquire the Plush Sofas business from Greenlit Brands. NCK said it ‘…actively considers acquisitive growth opportunities from time-to-time’ and that it would fund the purchase with a combination of cash and debt if successful. Plush – which mainly sells sofas and rugs – began in Victoria over 20 years ago. NCK is up 4.4 per cent and rose by 39 per cent in 2020, receiving a boost from the stay-at-home order during lockdown.
Altium (ALU) entered a trading halt this morning pending an announcement from the software company. ALU fel by ~10 per cent ahead of the trading halt.
Oil Search (OSH) announced the resignation of Keiran Wulff as MD/CEO due to health reasons. The OSH CFO Peter Fredricson will be stepping in temporarily as acting MD/CEO.
2.3bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.7bn. 442 stocks are up, 894 are down and 385 are flat.
Published by CommSec