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The Aussie sharemarket is enjoying another solid start with the ASX 200 lifting for a 7th consecutive session & hitting the best levels in ~7weeks or since August 25. The ASX 200 is higher by 55 points or 0.9% to 6,188 at midday as it again attempts to close in and break through the 6,200 barrier. At its best, the benchmark index was within five points of that mark.

Local gains have followed another improvement on Wall Street with the major US indices advancing. The local tech sector is leading gains locally as Afterpay (APT) hit a new record high earlier in the session, touching $96.08 a share. Financials are also aided broader gains while communications and utilities are also enjoying decent moves.

The big four banks have added close to a third of the ASX 200’s total advances. ANZ Bank (ANZ) is the standout firming 2.7% while Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is 1.3% higher as it holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today. Telstra (TLS) is also holding an AGM and is advancing 2.5% as the telco re-iterated its FY21 guidance and is aiming to maintain its current dividend and look to eventually increasing it over time.

Lagging behind are the resources with the materials trading in the red and energy enjoying the smallest lift. Commodity prices were generally weaker overnight with iron ore falling 1.6% and weighing on the big name miners. Continued uncertainty over Chinese bans on Australian coal imports is another weight for local coal producers. Whitehaven Coal (WHC) is down 4% after dipping 5.7% yesterday. New Hope (NHC) is 5.4% weaker and Coronado Resources (CRN) is sliding7. 8%.

In other news, comparison provider, iSelect (ISU) has confirmed it has chosen a new CEO in current Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer, Warren Hebard. The company also provided a 1Q21 update with September Quarter EBITDA at $8.1 million from $1.7 million last year. ISU received $3.4m in JobKeeper during the quarter.

The Aussie dollar has fallen sharply since 11am AEDT and is now buying 71.8 US cents, having traded above 72 US cents earlier in the morning. Chines trade data is due out today. So far, 2.7b units have been traded worth $2.3b with 680 stocks higher, 481 weaker and 367 unchanged.

Published by CommSec