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The local market is firmer for a second successive day with the ASX 200 adding 30 points or 0.4% to 6,783 around midday on Tuesday. Aussie shares are following on from a solid session on Wall Street with the major US indices improving. The tech heavy NASDAQ outperformed as longer term US government bond yields eased from recent 14-month highs.

Advances have been rather broad with the majority of sectors in positive territory. Leading the charge are utilities while communications and healthcare are also among the top performers. Financials and consumer discretionary are the main laggards so far.

Individually, mining giant BHP Group (BHP) is the biggest contributor to market gains while Telstra (TLS), Transurban (TCL) and Sonic Healthcare (SHL) are also adding to improvements. Losses for most of the big four banks are the main detractor with Westpac Bank (WBC) underperforming its peers with a 0.6% slide.

Other laggards include travel stocks with Flight Centre (FLT) down 2.3% while Corporate Travel Management (CTD) is also easing 3.1% and Webjet (WEB) is 2.1% lower. Crown Resorts (CWN) has fallen back after Monday’s big surge where the casino operator jumped 21% on the back of a takeover bid by US investment group Blackstone. CWN is down 1.4% today.

In company news, Kathmandu (KMD) is 7.5% higher with the adventure retailer releasing interim profit results this morning. Sales for the half lifted 12.9% to NZ$410.7 million even as COVID-19 restrictions led to snap store closures, the result was helped by a full six month contribution from its Rip Curl acquisition. Underlying profit and earnings (EBITDA) also saw double digit gains of 32.8% and 19% respectively. KMD will also resume paying dividends with an interim NZ$0.02 payment.

Airtasker (ART) has also listed on the ASX today with the task outsourcing platform rallying on its opening day, rising 50% in an hour of trade.

The Aussie dollar is a touch softer with no major economic releases due today. The local currency is buying 77.33 US cents.

Published by CommSec