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Aussie shares are lifting for a third day, with the ASX 200 gaining 0.3 per cent to 6,609.1 thanks mostly to solid improvements from mining and energy stocks. This means the local bourse is 12per cent above the low hit on US Election Day on November 3. Last night, the US market edged higher to another record high, however the big news was that the UK has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for rollout in ‘coming days’.

The market is being pushed higher today mainly by mining stocks and to a lesser extent energy producers. There is nowhere near as much enthusiasm across the rest of the market.

Fortescue Metals (FMG) is up by 11 per cent, while BHP and RIO are both lifting by ~4 per cent. Combined, these three companies are adding around 35pts to the ASX 200, which means the market would be in negative territory if excluding these improvements. The fact that the iron ore price surged by 2.8 per cent overnight to a near seven-year high has certainly been helpful. Strong steel demand in China and softer supply have been catalysts.

The price of oil jumped by 1.6 per cent overnight partly on reports that OPEC+ is closing in on a deal that may delay a planned increase in production next month, together with a drop in US oil supply last week. (KGN) is up 7 per cent after announcing the acquisition of an online retailer called Mighty Ape for $122m. Mighty Ape has close to 700,000 unique customers. KGN said that there should be significant revenue and cost synergies with the company. Mighty Ape generated $120m in revenue and $37m in gross profit over the last 12 months.

Splitit (SPT) is down 1.5 per cent despite saying it is performing ahead of guidance. SPT recorded merchant sales volume of US$15.3m during the holiday shopping week including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is 216 per cent higher than this time last week.

Qantas (QAN) is up slightly after providing an update to the market. The airline said that regular international flights will remain mostly grounded until at least July next year, while domestic capacity continues to ramp up as state borders reopen.

Macquarie (MQG) announced the acquisition of a US based fund manager called Waddel & Reed Financial for US$1.7bn.

Fisher & Paykel (FPH), Pendal (PDL) and Technology One (TNE) are all trading ex-dividend and losing ground on Thursday.

2.4bn shares have changed hands so far, worth $3.2bn. 630 stocks are up, 495 are down and 396 are flat.

Published by CommSec