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Aussie shares are lifting for a second day, with the ASX 200’s 1.45 per cent lift continuing to eat away at the outsized 5 per cent tumble for equities last Friday. With the exception of modest losses from healthcare stocks, all sectors are lifting strongly and add to the ASX 200’s 1.4 per cent lift on Monday.

The US market recovered in late trade overnight to creep into positive territory for the first time in three days. American airlines struggled most following Warren Buffett’s decision to sell his stakes in the four largest players in the US. Southwest Airlines, Delta, United and American Airlines all fell by ~5 per cent overnight. Mr Buffett held approximately 10 per cent stakes in all four companies.

Qantas (QAN) said it will extend existing domestic and TransTasman flight cancellations beyond end-May through to the end of June 2020. It also is extending international cancellations to the end of July. QAN announced in a statement that “as a result of the crisis’ impact on travel, the current stand down of employees will now be extended until at least the end of June.” QAN is up 2.7 per cent.

James Hardie (JHX) has announced the ‘immediate suspension of dividends until further notice”. JHX shares are up 6.3 per cent.

Kathmandu (KMD) expects the majority of its Australian Kathmandu and Rip Curl stores to reopen by the end of this week. Its international stores in New Zealand, North America, Europe, Brazil and Japan will remain closed for the time being. KMD shares are lifting by 9.9 per cent.

Collins Foods (CKF) is up 9 per cent. The owner of ~240 KFC restaurants said that while same-store-sales fell by 8 per cent in the final week of March, demand picked up in April.

According to a new weekly ABS report, between March 14 and April 18, total jobs in Australia decreased by 7.5 per cent, while total wages paid by employers decreased by 8.2 per cent.

Consumer confidence rose by 5.3 per cent to 89.5pts last week according to ANZ-Roy Morgan’s Weekly Consumer Sentiment index. This marks the fifth consecutive week of gains.

1.6bn shares have changed hands so far today worth a relatively light $2.3bn. 677 stocks are up, 339 are down and 298 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec