Aussie shares are lifting for a fourth day, with the ASX 200 up 1.1 per cent to 6,102.9 and at a fresh one-month high. Should nothing change in the coming day, the index is up 5.2 per cent this week and is on track to have its best weekly advance since midApril. The driver today seems to be a strong lead from Wall Street and President Trump encouraged Congress to pass a number of standalone fiscal stimulus bills.
What takes some of the shine off today’s gains is that we’re coming off the back of the biggest weekly decline in six months and the market has been range bound between ~5800pts and ~6200pts since early June. Markets are likely to remain unpredictable ahead of the US election in four weeks, conflicting daily updates on US stimulus and the spread of the coronavirus in the northern hemisphere.
The 90 minute US Vice Presidential Debate has kicked off in Salt Lake City, Utah.
At lunch, there are widespread gains across almost all sectors. The only group of stocks heading backwards are property companies. This includes shopping mall owners like Scentre Group (SCG) and Vicinity Centres (VCX), construction companies like Mirvac (MGR) and the owners of office space like Dexus (DXS).
Iron ore price has been stuck at US$123 per tonne for five straight days because of week-long public holidays in China. Mining stocks are lifting regardless, including BHP, Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue Metals (FMG).
Buy-now-pay-later companies are holding up well, with Sezzle (SZL) up 7.4 per cent and Splitit (SPT) up 1 per cent. Both have recorded some record results for the past three months. SZL has close to tripled users between July and September, while SPT has doubled the total number of merchants and shoppers using its platform. Other BNPL stocks like Zip Co (Z1P) and Afterpay (APT) are both lifting.
Transurban (TCL) is down 1 per cent as it holds its virtual Annual General Meeting. The pandemic has reduced toll traffic by 25 per cent between July and September. Traffic in Sydney rose by a modest 1.5 per cent, boosted by the opening of parts of the WestConnex Motorway. Tolls kicked in three months ago. But due to the lockdowns, Melbourne traffic slumped by 59 per cent over the quarter and 9 per cent in Brisbane.
South32 (S32), Brambles (BXB), Breville (BRG), Costa Group (CGC), BWX and Bingo Industries (BIN) are all paying eligible investors dividends.
3.4bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $3.1bn. 770 stocks are up, 399 down and 354 are unchanged.
Published by CommSec