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The Aussie market has had a rather quiet start to Thursday’s session with the ASX 200 mostly flat
approaching lunch. The benchmark index has traded in a fairly narrow range of 28 points and around midday is just 1 point lower at 7,091. These muted moves follow a quiet session on Wall Street overnight.

The announcement of a 7-day circuit breaker lockdown in Victoria (Victoria’s fourth lockdown) saw the Aussie market fall from highs as locally transmitted cases rose by 11 in the past 24 hours to total 26 cases in the most recent cluster.

Gains for materials have helped support the broader market while the information technology, energy and
consumer discretionary sectors are also firming. Leading declines are consumer staples, healthcare and industrials.

Individually, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is the biggest positive influence on the market with a gain 2.2% and adding 4.5 points to the ASX 200 index. BHP Group (BHP) is the next best with a 1% improvement while Rio Tinto (RIO) and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) are the other major contributors.

AMP Ltd (AMP) is 5% firmer and on track for its best day in 3 months. The wealth manager was served with civil proceedings at the Federal Court by ASIC, relating to charges for insurance and advice fees for deceased superannuation accounts. AMP said it has remediated $5.3 million to all affected customers.

The largest weight is Fischer & Paykel Healthcare (FPH), which is down 8% following the release of its FY21 earnings results. The NZ-based medical device provider enjoyed strong growth for the financial year with operating revenue jumping 61% in constant currency (cc) terms to NZ$1.97 billion while net profit after tax (NPAT) surged 94% in cc terms to NZ$524 million. The company did not provide guidance for FY22.

Fruit grower, Cost Group (CGC) is tumbling 20% following a trading update provided ahead of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) with shareholders today.

The Aussie dollar is also slightly weaker against the greenback and buys 77.35 US cents.

Published by CommSec