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At lunch, the ASX 200 is up 88pts or 1.5 per cent to 5903 thanks to a positive lead from Wall Street overnight, better than expected US & Chinese data and gains across almost all sectors locally. This is just enough to recoup Monday’s decline of 1.5 per cent, which was triggered by a spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria, parts of the US, Russia, Japan and India. This has created some concerns relating to the stalling of economic reopenings worldwide.

It’s also the last day of the month and financial year. This can create some unpredictable moves and volumes, together with potential volatility. However, as long as the market avoids a decline of more than 1 per cent today, June is set to be the third straight month of gains for our market. Shares have also improved by ~16 per cent over the past three months, making it the ASX 200’s best quarter since September 2009. What makes this less impressive is that the market slumped by 24 per cent in the March quarter due to COVID-19. It’s also clear that buyers seem to have lost some of the enthusiasm seen earlier in the quarter. The ASX 200 in recent weeks has plateaued below 6,000pts.

Over the financial year, the market seems on track to have slumped by ~12 per cent due to a 40 per cent tumble in February and March. Healthcare stocks and tech look set to be among the better performers over the year, while energy, financials and travel stocks are some of the worst.

On Tuesday, healthcare stocks are the only losers, mainly due to a decline from CSL Limited (CSL), which is by far the largest company in the sector. Fisher & Paykel, Ramsay, ResMed and Ansell are all lifting strongly.

Brickworks (BKW) and Goodman Group (GMG) have agreed to a 50:50 joint venture, securing a long-term 20 year lease with Amazon. The world’s largest retailer has committed to a new state of the art distribution centre in Western Sydney. It is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021.

Retail Food Group (RFG) is up 7.3 per cent after being advised by ASIC that at the conclusion of an investigation, ‘it has decided that it will not take any enforcement action’ against the owner of Gloria Jean’s, Michel’s and donutking. ASIC was investigating potential contraventions of the Corporations Act.

Freedom Foods’ (FNP) chief executive Rory Macleod has resigned. FNP foods remains suspended on the market as it undergoes ongoing investigations into its financial position.

CNBC reported that China has passed the national security law for Hong Kong.

2.3bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $2.3bn. 794 stocks are up, 350 are down and 385 are flat in what is a light session of trade so far for the Aussie market.

Published by CommSec