The Aussie market is lifting for a second day in a row with the ASX 200 managing to climb back above the 6,000 point mark with gains of 60 points or 1% to 6,004 at lunch. At the best levels of the morning, the benchmark index had jumped 1.3% or 80 points. While US markets were closed overnight for the Labor Day holiday, European markets rose to give local shares a solid lead.
Gains on the local bourse have been widespread with every sector advancing after the first few hours of trade. The heavyweights are making the biggest difference as the healthcare sector leads the way. Materials, financials, energy and industrials are also adding plenty to broad improvements. Consumer staples are lagging the market as it trades flat.
Individually, CSL Ltd (CSL) is the biggest contributor adding 11 points to the ASX 200 on its own as it rallies 2.8%. It announced yesterday it had signed two agreements to supply and manufacture a total of 81 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from trials undertaken by the University Of Qld & Oxford University. Elsewhere, the major banks, miners, Telstra (TLS) and Transurban (TCL) are also helping lift the market.
Scentre Group (SCG) is lifting 3.5% as the operator of Australian and NZ Westfield shopping centres continued to see rent collections rebound in August. SCG collected $183 million in gross rent or 86% of its total billings for the month. In April rent collection had fallen to $59 million or 28%.
The staples sector is being held back by a 0.5% fall for Woolworths (WOW). The supermarket giant announced a reshuffling of its leadership roles and positions which will include the announcement of a new supermarket MD for its NZ division. Meanwhile, Sydney Airport (SYD) is down 2.1% after confirming the completion of its retail entitlement offer where it raised ~$695 million (including shortfall bookbuild) and a total of ~$2 billion, including institutional investors.
The Aussie dollar remains weaker against the greenback as it buys 72.78 US cents. The small lift in weekly consumer confidence to a reading of 91.1 (below 100 denotes pessimism) had little bearing on the AUD. So far, 4.5b units have been traded worth $2.1b with 735 stocks higher, 390 lower and 352 unchanged.
Published by CommSec