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The Australian sharemarket lifted this morning on the open and stayed elevated leading into the lunch break, up 0.47 per cent to 7,413.7. The moves higher followed mixed US sharemarkets overnight, as investors digested earnings results and the Federal Reserve monetary policy decision, which left the federal funds rate unchanged.

IT is leading gains today up 2.6 per cent, with Afterpay (APT) adding 3.3 per cent, helping lift the benchmark 2.9 points higher. Materials is up 1.6 per cent, followed by health care, which has gained 0.6 per cent. Property has seen the largest falls, down 1.3 per cent, while industrials is 0.1 per cent lower.

NSW recorded 239 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, its largest daily increase in the latest outbreak. Victoria recorded seven. Travel stocks were mixed. Sydney Airport (SYD) fell 0.3 per cent, Webjet (WEB) is up 0.4 per cent and Qantas is 0.7 per cent lower.

In company news, Rio Tinto (RIO) shares are climbing 2.7 per cent following yesterday’s profit results release. Sales were up 71 per cent to US$33.1b and underlying earnings gained 156 per cent to US$12.2b. The result was supported by record high iron ore prices. The miner signalled its large-scale entry into the fastgrowing battery materials market and declared a US$5.61/share total interim dividend, up 262 per cent.

Fortescue (FMG) saw record iron ore shipments of 49.3Mt for the June quarter and 182.2Mt for FY21, exceeding its own guidance. Average C1 cost in Q4 was US$15.23/wmt with record average revenue of US$168/dmt. FMG was 1.7 per cent higher.

Lynas (LYC) is rallying 1.2 per cent after confirming the High Court of Malaya dismissed the judicial review proceedings of activists against LYC operating in Malaysia. A costs order has been made in favour of Lynas.

Macquarie (MQG) has provided a trading update ahead of its AGM today, noting improved 1Q22 trading conditions well up on the mixed conditions a year ago. The Commodities and Global Markets and Macquarie Capital profit contribution was significantly higher. MQG was flat.

Iress (IRE) has received a takeover proposal from EQT Fund Management to buy all IRE shares for $15.30-$15.50/share. IRE has previously rejected a $14.80/share takeover offer from the same group. IRE was up 12.3 per cent.

PointsBet (PBH) is in a trading halt as it looks to raise $400m via an entitlement offer to support its expansion in the US sports betting and iGaming market

The AUD is trading at 73.6 US cents. So far today, 1.6b units were traded worth $2.0b with 775 stocks higher, 438 lower and 374 unchanged.

Published by CommSec