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Aussie shares are lifting for a second day, with the ASX 200 up 0.6 per cent to 7,370.2 following a slight gain from US markets overnight. This keeps the index within ~0.5 per cent of last month’s record high thanks to gains across all sectors at lunch. Gains from the major miners are contributing most to the market’s gains so far today.

While it has been a choppy start to the month, quarter and financial year, it comes after nine months of gains (the longest winning streak in 14 years) and the strongest financial year since 1987.

Travel stocks are mixed on Thursday despite NSW recording 38 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19. On Wednesday, the state government said it would extend the two-week lockdown by another week.

Sydney Airport (SYD) is up 3 per cent. Bloomberg reported that a consortium led by Macquarie is exploring a potential rival bid for the airport. SYD received a $22bn ($8.25 per share) takeover off from a consortium last week.

Seven Group (SVW) purchased ~60 million additional shares in takeover target Boral (BLD). SVW now holds a 40.95 per cent stake in the building products company. SVW shares are lifting by ~4.5 per cent.

Red Sea Co has awarded Worley (WOR) a services contract for a greenfield integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in Egypt. The project will convert ~4 million tonnes per year of crude oil into refined products including jet fuel.

Rural Funds Group (RFF) – an agricultural Real Estate Investment Trust – is in a trading halt pending an announcement in relation to a proposed capital raising.

Netwealth (NWL) is lifting by 2.2 per cent after handing down a quarterly business update. The fintech announced an 11.9 per cent lift in Funds Under Management over the quarter. While NWL shares are only up slightly this calendar year, it rose by 104 per cent in 2020.

Queensland based gold exploration company Pacgold (PGO) and mineral exploration group Locksley Resources (LKY) are both set to make their ASX debuts today.

1.4bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $1.8bn. 669 stocks are up, 475 are down and 412 are flat.

Published by CommSec