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The Aussie market is firming for a third day in a row with the ASX 200 at its best levels after the first few hours of trade. The index is trading 62 points or 1.1% higher at 5,998 as it closes in on 6,000 points for the first time in a fortnight. Maintaining levels above 6,000 has been elusive for the ASX 200 over the past few months.

Buying has been rather widespread and across the majority of sectors. Investors have been most enthusiastic with the IT, consumer discretionary and financials while materials have been left behind a touch, with fairly flat trade for larger miners.

The largest individual contributors to the market moves include gains for the big four banks. Westpac (WBC) is the standout with a gain of 1.8%. Biotech firm CSL Ltd (CSL) is lifting 1% and Aftterpay (APT) is up 5.6%, having hit a fresh record intraday high of $66.66 earlier this morning.

Retailing names have dominated headlines this morning with online furniture retailer Temple & Webster (TPW) resuming trade after a one day halt. The company raised $40 million from institutional investors to help fund its digital enhancement as more customers buy homewares and furniture online. TPW shares have rallied 13%.

Adventure retailer, Kathmandu (KMD) is up a similar 12% after releasing a sales update this morning. Sales have been strong since stores reopened in May with sales growth of 12.5% for the six weeks from 18 May to 28 June. Rip Curl sales rose 21% with both brands experiencing much higher online sales growth.

Webjet (WEB) is down 2% after announcing a €100 million (A$163 million) convertible note offering with proceeds of the offer to repay some existing debt but also for potential acquisitions and ongoing capital management.

The Aussie dollar is holding around 69.1 US cents with a solid May trade surplus of $8.03 billion, although it fell slightly short of consensus expectations. Both exports (- 4%) and imports (-6%) were weaker over the month.

So far, 2.9b units have traded worth $2.8b with 721 stocks ahigher, 381 lower and 295 unchanged.

Published by  CommSec