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Local shares are climbing for a third consecutive session at lunch on Wednesday. The ASX 200 index is at the best levels of the day around 12.30 AEDT, lifting 32pts or 0.55% to 5,994 The Aussie market is rising despite a late sell-off on Wall Street saw the major US indices all close lower by at least 1.3% as Donald Trump called off further stimulus talks until after the election on November 3.

Locally, the improvements have been across the majority of sectors with the consumer sectors, both staples and discretionary leading advances. The Federal Budget handed down last night which brought forward stage two tax cuts by two years is seen as a positive for household consumption with Treasury estimates of a $6.9 billion increase to disposable income in 2021. Although how much of that is spent or saved will likely still be determined by consumer confidence and progress on a COVID-19 vaccine.

Online retailers are outperforming more traditional names with online furniture retailer Temple & Webster (TPW) has jumped 8% while Kogan.com (KGN) is lifting 6%. Meanwhile JB Hi-Fi (JBH) is 3.3% higher and Harvey Norman (HVN) is gaining 1.7%. Wooloworths (WOW) is leading the way among consumer staples with a 1.7% improvement.

Not all discretionary stocks are rising though with travel names in the red. Flight Centre (FLT) and Webjet (WEB) are both lower by 1.4% and Qantas (QAN) is 1.1% weaker. NSW has recorded three new COVID-19 cases since 8pm last night from community transmission.

The heavyweight stocks are mostly higher with the big four banks all rising as is biotech giant CSL Ltd (CSL). Major miners are a slight drag however with BHP Group (BHP) down 1% and Newcrest Mining (NCM) is 2.8% softer despite drilling commencing at a Joint Venture mine in West Arunta WA.

While the Aussie dollar didn’t overly react to the news of a record budget deficit of $213.7 billion last night. It did tumble sharply on USD strength following the halt in US stimulus talks. The AUD now buys 71.03 US cents.

So far, 2.5b units have traded worth $2.4b with 636 stocks higher 464 lower and 394 unchanged.

Published by CommSec