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The Aussie market is adding to Monday’s gains with the ASX 200 lifting a further 38 points or 0.55% to 6,907 around midday. The benchmark index also hit fresh 11- month highs of 6,913 at its morning highs. Local shares had little direction with US markets closed overnight for the President’s Day holiday

Materials and energy have been the standout performers in the first few hours of trade while consumer discretionary and staples have led the underperformers.

BNPL provider ZipCo (Z1P) is one of the biggest movers on the ASX 200 with a gain of 11% and is up ~30% so far this week and ~170% higher year-to-date. Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is one of the worst with a 6% slide. The wine producer has had a difficult time of late following news of increased tariffs on Australian wines into China, announced late last year. TWE is releasing first half profit results tomorrow.

There has been plenty of activity on the profit reporting season today. BHP Group (BHP) is the largest company to report with the mining giant’s share price rising 2.4% and impressing investors by paying a record interim dividend of US$1.01 per share, a 55% lift on its interim dividend for FY20. This follows double-digit rises in underlying earnings and profits as the average realised iron ore price for BHP was 33% higher than the same time last year.

Breville Group (BRG) is 4% higher with the home appliance maker saw first half net profit jump 29% on a year ago to $64.2 million while revenue also rose by 29%. This allowed BRG to lift its earnings (EBIT) guidance for the full year but the company did reduce its dividend as it looks to retain some funds for growth opportunities.

National Australia Bank (NAB) has reported a quarterly update with unaudited cash earnings of $1.65 billion for the second largest bank by market capitalisation. An improving economic backdrop and low credit impairments have been a positive for the business. NAB Is up 0.9% while Westpac (WBC) and ANZ Bank (ANZ) lift more than 1% each. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is down 1.1% as it trades exdividend today.

The Aussie dollar is fairly steady today and is buying 77.86 US cents.

Published by CommSec