Local shares are higher at lunch on Wednesday following a session of gains on Wall Street overnight. The ASX 200 is up 45 points or 0.75% to 5,939 as the market rebounds from a small decline on Tuesday. The benchmark index spiked by 52 points on the open before quickly settling to its current levels where it has remained since.
Gains have been rather broad based with all sectors making gains. The local tech sector is the biggest mover following more improvements for US tech stocks overnight. Afterpay (APT) is 3% higher while smaller BNPL players are enjoying even larger gains with Splitit (SPT) up 7.5% and Sezzle (SZL) gaining 8%. Nearmap (NEA) is also adding to broader tech gains, rallying 5.5%. The communications sector is the other big mover with job listing site Seek Ltd (SEK) advancing 9%.
The financial sector is the main underperformer with three of the big four banks in the red. ANZ Bank (ANZ) is down the most with a 0.4% decline while Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is bucking the trend as it trades 0.12% higher. Insurer, QBE Insurance (QBE) is slipping 0.8% after it confirmed it will seek an appeal from a UK High Court ruling in relation to certain UK businesses ability to claim payouts due to COVID-19. QBE estimates the claims exposures to be approx.US$170 million but re-insurance protection will limit that to US$70 million.
In other company news, online retailer Kogan.com (KGN) is 8% higher with news that it saw its biggest monthly lift in customers in August, a gain of 152,000 to a total of 2.46 million. Gross sales and profits more than doubled compared to the year before while adjusted EBITDA was 466% higher year-on-year. Online furniture retailer Temple & Webster (TPW) is also 7%.
Elsewhere, Tabcorp (TAH) completed its Retail Entitlement Offer, raising ~$230 million from 71 million new shares at $3.25/share. In total, TAH raised ~$600 million with proceeds used to pay down existing drawn bank debt facilities and strengthen the company’s balance sheet.
The Aussie dollar remains above 73 US cents following yesterday’s better than expected Chinese data and positive comments on the local currency in the RBA minutes. So far 3b units have been traded worth $2.7b with 730 stocks higher, 408 lower and 356 unchanged.
Published by CommSec