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The Australian sharemarket is following US stocks to fresh record highs, with the ASX 200 lifting by 0.45 per cent to 7,427.4. Solid gains from mining stocks are leading the broader index higher for a fourth gain in five days. This is despite a continued spike in COVID-19 cases in Greater Sydney and ahead of the August profit reporting season.

The Australian sharemarket is currently on track to extend its winning streak to a 10th straight month for the first time in 14 years. The ASX 200 is currently up by ~1.5 per cent so far in June despite around half of Australia’s population being in lockdown for part of the month. Victoria – which identified 10 COVID-19 cases over the past day – has announced its decision to lift its 12-day lockdown (the state’s fifth) tonight. Greater Sydney on the other hand has just had its worst day of COVID cases, identifying 172 with more than 60 infectious in the community. This raises the likelihood further that the five-week lockdown will be extended past this Friday.

Mining stocks are doing most of the heavy lifting at lunch, particularly the largest iron ore miners in BHP, Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue Metals (FMG). Rio Tinto (RIO) is expected to release its half-year results after the market close on Wednesday. Surging iron ore prices over the past year are expected to have helped push profits and dividends higher.

Copper producer Oz Minerals (OZL) is lifting by close to 10 per cent thanks to its quarterly update released this morning and a 3 per cent jump in the copper prices. Copper – which was the strongest improver among metals overnight – rose on supply concerns and demand hopes partly linked to floods that have devastated the Chinese province of Henan, a major copper production hub. OZL’s update highlighted a 22 per cent lift in copper production over the second quarter and flagged a 70 per cent surge
in revenue (compared to 12 months earlier). It attributed this to copper price gains and a lift in production.

Temple & Webster (TWP) is up by 9.8 per cent after posting an unaudited 85 per cent lift in FY21 revenue to $326.3m (a record), a $97.5m cash balance and a 62 per cent jump in active customers to 778,000. Sales were boosted by lockdowns, which accelerated the shift from offline to online retail.

Oil Search (OSH) handed down a 21.5 per cent lift in 2Q revenue to US$366.2m (when compared to 1Q). Total production fell by 4.1 per cent to 6.6mmboe due to planned maintenance work. The PNG
focused energy group maintained its FY21 production and kept its capex guidance steady.

Acquirian Limited (AQN) is up 20 per cent after making its ASX debut this morning. AQN sells products and services to the mining sector including equipment for lease and workplace solutions.

2.3bn shares have changed hands so far worth $2.9bn. 605 stock are up, 711 down and 416 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec