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The Aussie market is managing to just hold onto its earlier advances with the ASX 200 inching 1 point higher at 6,186. The benchmark index has been trading in a narrow 22 point range over the first few hours of the session. Local gains follow an improved session on Wall Street with major US indices on fiscal stimulus hopes from US lawmakers.

The majority of sectors are higher with energy leading the charge. Global oil prices firmed overnight by as much as 1.5% on hopes that a US stimulus package would support crude demand. Oil Search (OSH) is lifting 3.5% and Santos (STO) is up 2.3%.

Financials are the other major contributor to broader advances with the major lenders all in positive territory. ANZ Bank (ANZ) is outperforming with a 1.5% lift. National Bank (NAB) is also 1.2% higher while Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and Westpac (WBC) have made smaller gains.

On the downside, IT declines are being led by BNPL providers with Afterpay (APT) easing 1% after hitting record highs during yesterday’s session. Cloud software firm, Megport (MP1) is down 10% having released a quarterly update this morning. Revenue for the period was $17.3 million, which was a slight rise of 2% from the previous quarter. The company is focused on achieving EBITDA breakeven on an exit run-rate basis by the close of Fiscal Year 2021.

In other news, Temple & Webster (TPW) is sliding 14% despite the online homewares and furniture retailer providing a quarterly update. Revenue for the September Quarter was up 138% on the year before while quarterly EBITDA of $8.6 million exceeded the entire FY20 figure of $8.5 million TPW shares have still surged 340% this year.

Lynas (LYC) is 3% higher on a quarterly activities update. Sales revenue for the period was $87 million with rare earth oxide production of 4,110 tonnes and sales volumes of 4,499 tonnes.

The Aussie dollar has firmed this morning and is buying 70.66 US cents as the preliminary retail trade release for September fell 1.5% on August.

So far, 3.9b units have been traded worth $2.7b wth 636 stocks higher, 574 lower and 335 unchanged.

Published by by CommSec