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The Australian market is lifting for a third day, with the ASX 200 up 51pts or 0.78 per cent to 6,695.7 as most sectors improve. This is enough to push the market into positive territory for 2020 despite the 38 per cent tumble recorded between mid-February and mid-March.

Overnight, the US market hit a record high with the Dow Jones cracking 30,000pts for the first time. The local market remains in its fourth straight week of gains, is near a nine-month high and is now on track to have its best November on record. Vaccine news has been better than expected this month, some borders are starting to reopen and US election uncertainty is easing.

With the exception of Healthcare, Tech and Telcos, all other sectors are improving at lunch. The standouts continue to be those areas of the market that have struggled most in 2020. This includes Energy, Financials and companies linked to travel.

Energy stocks are surging by 2.5 per cent following a 4.3 per cent lift in the oil price overnight. Greater demand hopes and Joe Biden nominating Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary perhaps increases the likelihood of a large US fiscal stimulus package.

Travel stocks are mostly higher after the Queensland Premier said the state would reopen borders with Victoria and New Sales Wales next Tuesday. Webjet (WEB), Flight Centre (FLT), Qantas (QAN) and Sydney Airport (SYD) are up by between 25-60 per cent so far this month.

Fisher & Paykel (FPH) is lifting after handing down its latest earnings. FPH said that its half year net profit jumped by 86 per cent to NZ$225.5m while revenue improved by 59 per cent. FPH’s result was
driven by increased demand for Hospital hardware to treat COVID-19 patients. It has declared a NZ$0.16 per share dividend.

Kathmandu (KMD) delivered a trading update this morning. The adventure retailer’s group sales for the three months to 31 October rose by 72 per cent (on 12 months earlier) thanks to a strong result from its Rip Curl business. KMD sales were negatively impacted by Melbourne and Auckland store closures together with lower demand for travelrelated purchases.

Fletcher Building (FBU) expects half year EBIT to be in the range of $305-$320m (compares to $219m over the first half of last year). The building products maker has provided no FY21 guidance due to the ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty.

Graincorp (GNC) and OFX Group (OFX) are both ex-dividend today while Brickworks (BKW) and Bank of Queensland (BOQ) are both set to pay eligible shareholders dividends on Wednesday.

2.9bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth an above average $3.7bn. 622 stocks are up, 608 down and 355 are unchanged.

Published by CommSec