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Aussie shares are bouncing back strongly from Monday’s slump, with the ASX 200 lifting by 1.4 per cent at midday thanks to gains across almost all sectors and a lift from the US bourse overnight. This follows Monday’s 1.8 per cent tumble, which was the Aussie market’s largest decline in a month and the worst start to a new week in over a year. Concerns that central banks are perhaps starting to move away from the ultra-loose policy that has been in place to help navigate the pandemic has been a driver.

Keep in mind that despite the market volatility, the ASX 200 is on its longest weekly winning streak of the year (at five weeks) and with just six full trading days left this financial year, the index is up ~23 per cent over the past 12 months.

Washington H Soul Pattinson (SOL) and Milton (MLT) have agreed to merge, creating a $10bn investment group. SOL’s portfolio includes a 25 per cent stake in TPG, 44 per cent of Brickworks, 50 per cent of New Hope and 20 per cent interest in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (which owns Priceline and Soul Pattinson). Shares in MLT are up 16 per cent.

Openpay (OPY) is up 14 per cent after announcing the acquisition of a UK auto-sector focused buy-now-pay-later provider called Payment Assist. OPY will make a ~A$21m upfront payment and a further payment if certain criteria are met.

Boral (BLD) has continued to advise shareholders reject Seven Group’s (SVW) $6.50 takeover offer. The building products company believe the offer undervalues the business. Just yesterday, BLD entered into an agreement to sell its North American operations for US$2.15bn to Westlake Chemical.

Infratil (IFT), iSelect (ISU) and Oceania Healthcare (OCA) are all set to pay eligible shareholders dividends today.

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has bounced back from yesterday’s 5.4 per cent tumble, with the stock lifting by 2.6 per cent and pushing the company back above $100 per share. While the financials are lifting by ~1.5 per cent, this follows a 3.4 per cent tumble on Monday.

While mining stocks are jumping by 1.5 per cent at lunch, this follows daily 1-2 per cent declines for the prior four sessions. This was partly because of the market’s attention on some central bank’s flagging the possibility of higher interest rates sooner than previously anticipated. This has pushed the US dollar to the strongest levels of the year against the Aussie dollar and in turn dragged commodity prices lower.

Both the NSW and SA state budgets will be handed down today.

2.8bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.8bn. 840 stocks are up, 454 are down and 395 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec