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Aussie shares are surging higher at lunch, with the ASX 200 lifting by 1.9 per cent to 5,894 while snapping a four-day losing streak. This follow a technology led improvement out of the US market overnight. Despite the gains, the market needs to lift by an additional 3 per cent over the next week to avoid its first monthly decline since March.

The market is lacking enthusiasm ahead of the US election which is now only six weeks away, US stimulus deadlock in Congress and concerns of COVID-19’s rapid spread in Europe as the Northern Hemisphere approaches winter. The UK announced further restrictions which could last for six months. This will include shutting pubs and restaurants at 10pm and won’t reopen sporting events to crowds as was planned from the end of October.

All sectors are higher at lunch, with gains in excess of 2 per cent for Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Healthcare, Industrials and Technology. Around 90 per cent of stocks are lifting.

Kathmandu (KMD) remains under pressure following the release of its FY20 results. Revenue rose by 48.7 per cent to $801m and was boosted by nine months of sales from its recently acquired Rip Curl brand. Online sales rose by 63 per cent to $106m, accounting for close to 16 per cent of the company’s total sales. Net profit slumped by 84.6 per cent to just $8.9m however as gross margins worsened and will not pay investors a dividend.

Nufarm (NUF) is up 4 per cent despite the agricultural chemicals company posting a $456m loss. NUF was impacted by the underperformance of its US and European businesses together with COVID-19’s disruption.

The promise of more domestic travel is helping push Flight Centre (FLT), Webjet (WEB), Qantas (QAN) and Sydney Airport (SYD) higher. Qantas (QAN) has decided to end its sponsorship of the Wallabies (has been in place since 1990) together with financial support of national cricket and soccer. This is part of cost saving initiatives to help preserve cash due to the pandemic.

Myer (MYR) has decided to save cash by reducing the size of its Board to just five members. This follows two non-executive directors announcing their retirement today, positions that MYR said it will not seek to replace.

Amcor (AMC) and Reckon (RKN) both pay eligible investors a dividend today. TLS, STO, MPL, NCM, AGL, QBE, DOW and LNK are just some of the companies set to pay shareholders dividends on Thursday and Friday. No stocks are ex-dividend today.

3.4bn shares have changed hand so far worth $3.1bn. 814 stocks are up, 342 down and 360 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec