Aussie shares are snapping a three-day losing streak, with the ASX 200 up 64pts or 1 per cent to 6615.8 on news China and the US have agreed to hold further trade talks. Close to all sectors are higher with the exception of defensive Utilities and Property stocks.
While the Australian sharemarket was improving in early trade, the gains took off on a Reuters report that China and the US will resume trade negotiations in Washington in early October. Trade representatives are said to have spoken by phone today. This news was enough to double the market’s gains from 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent. The Aussie dollar rose from US$0.62 to a high of US$0.6825.
Last night, UK Parliament rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for an October election. This makes a three month delay to Brexit more likely together with a general election potentially later this year. This has reduced the chances of a no-deal Brexit next month. The UK is currently scheduled to leave the European Union on October 31.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam withdrew the contentious extradition bill that sparked months of violent protests. While some perceive this as being too little too late, stocks in Hong Kong have improved over the past 24 hours.
Myer (MYR) is up by more than 12 per cent after the department store owner returned to profitability. It posted a $24.5m FY19 profit ($486m loss a year earlier). Total sales still slipped by 3.5 per cent to $2.99bn while comparable sales eased by 2.9 per cent. Online spending surged however, by 21.9 per cent to $292.1m. MYR has not declared a dividend (last paid a dividend in November 2017).
TPG Telecom (TPM) has more than halved its full year profit to $173.8m. Its decision to cease the rollout of its own Australian mobile network cost the company $236.9m in impairment charges. Underlying profit fell more modestly by 13 per cent to $376.2m.
While mining stocks are mostly higher, BHP is down by 0.5 per cent or 17c to $36.15. Australia’s largest miner is trading exdividend for its record $1.14/share final distribution on 25 September. Whitehaven Coal (WHC) is down close to 10 per cent as it also trades ex-dividend. WHC is paying out a substantial 30c in dividends (13c final and 17c special).
1.7bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $3.2bn. 670 stocks are up, 404 down and 328 are flat.
Published by CommSec