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The Australian sharemarket is lifting for a fourth day, with the ASX 200 up 0.66 per cent to 7,092.5 thanks to solid gains from financials and miners. The winning streak follows a 1.9 per cent tumble for the local bourse last Wednesday, which has taken the past four days of gains to recoup.

While utilities are largely unchanged at midday, all other sectors are advancing, led by property stocks, banks and major iron ore producers, which have declined heavily in prior days following a decline in the commodity’s price.

While the banks are all higher, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has hit a fresh record high this morning and is ~35c away from hitting $100 per share for the first time.

Travel stocks are mixed, with Qantas (QAN) down 1 per cent while Flight Centre (FLT), Webjet (WEB) and Sydney Airport (SYD) are bouncing back from Monday’s declines. All eyes remain on Melbourne’s COVID-19 situation, with one additional locally transmitted case identified in Melbourne. This is linked to the four cases from the same family announced yesterday, which are all said to have the highly infectious Indian strain of the virus. Additional restrictions will kick in from 6pm AEST tonight. A further spike in cases could lead to tighter restrictions.

Pepper Money (PPM) – a lender which provides home, car, personal and commercial loans – is set to make its ASX debut at 12:30pm AEST today.

Amcor (AMC) is trading ex-dividend for its 15.12c per share dividend. The packaging company is down 1.8 per cent.

EML Payments (EML) is down by an additional 1.7 per cent following Monday’s 1.5 per cent decline. The payments group slumped by 34 per cent last week and was the most traded stock by CommSec traders following the Central Bank of Ireland raising ‘significant regulatory concerns’ with its Irish subsidiary.

A2 Milk (A2M) is sliding for a second day, with the infant formula company remaining near a four-year low as travel restrictions with China (a key market) remain in place. (KGN) is adding to Monday’s 14.7 per cent lift with an additional gain of 6.6 per cent. The online retailer is bouncing back from Friday’s 14 per cent slide, which followed the company flagging slower profit growth and issues managing its inventory.

2.2bn shares have changed hands worth $2.3bn, with 714 stocks lifting, 563 in the red and 391 unchanged.

Published by CommSec