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Aussie shares have recovered from a soft start, with the ASX 200 lifting by 0.15 per cent and hitting fresh record highs for a second straight day in the process. Investors continue to look beyond ongoing lockdowns are in the early part of an eleventh consecutive month of gains. This is despite a mixed lead from Wall Street overnight.

Energy and mining stocks are coming under pressure following a decline in most commodity prices overnight. The spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 weighs on the demand outlook. The price of oil dropped 3.4 per cent, iron ore slipped by 0.5 per cent and gold ended largely unchanged. While BHP is the main weight on the ASX 200 so far, it has hit a record high on a number of occasions over the past couple of weeks.

Nick Scali (NCK) is down 0.2 per cent despite doubling its profit over the past year to an above guidance $84.2m. The furniture retailer’s sales surged by 42.1 per cent to $373m, its profit margin edged higher to 63.5 per cent and its final dividend increased by 11.1 per cent to 25c. However, due to lockdowns in Greater Sydney, Victoria and South Australia, sales fell by 27 per cent in July (when compared to July 2020).

Resolute Mining (RSG) is outperforming other gold producers, lifting by 5.43 per cent on news it is selling its Bibiani Gold Mine in Ghana for US$90m in cash.

Centuria Industrial REIT (CIP) is up 0.5 per cent after handing down its annual results this morning. Australia’s largest domestic pure play industrial REIT’s profits surged to $611.2m (from $75.3m in FY20). CIP attributed the lift partly to the ‘continued rise of e-commerce’ during the pandemic, which created tailwinds for industrial property demand and record low vacancy rates. CIP leases out large distribution centres and transport logistic sites.

The major banks, property stocks, consumer discretionary and healthcare are among the strongest
performers so far today.

2.4bn shares have changed hands by lunch worth $2.6bn. 585 stocks are up, 665 down and 437 are currently unchanged.

Published by CommSec