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Aussie shares have improved on a solid start, with the ASX 200 lifting by 1.2 per cent, jumping for a third day and briefly hitting a fresh 11- month high. Should markets maintain these gains, it would be enough to recoup last week’s losses. While the market has been choppy so far this year, the ASX 200 is still up by 3.8 per cent since 1 January.

Last night, the US market recorded back-to-back gains of ~1.5 per cent as the GameStop trading frenzy cooled. GameStop shares fell by 60 per cent overnight after falling by ~30 per cent a day earlier.

Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos announced his decision to step aside as CEO of the company he created around 30 years ago. He’ll be replaced by the head of its cloud computing division, Andy Jassy who has helped Amazon become a force in the cloud infrastructure services market. Alphabet – Google’s parent company – beat the market’s sales expectations.

With the exception of iron ore mining companies, most other areas of the market are lifting at lunch. BHP, Rio Tinto (RIO) and Fortescue Metals (FMG) have come under pressure this morning on a near 4 per cent slump in the iron ore price. Steel mill margins have declined in China; something which can push the price of iron ore lower.

Banks are the biggest contributors to the ASX 200, lifting by as much as 2.5 per cent.

The profit reporting season continues to slowly unfold. Amcor (AMC) is up ~6 per cent after the packaging company handed down a 65 per cent lift in profit to US$417m, slightly raised its dividend to US$0.1175 and upgraded its goals (guidance) for the 2021 financial year.

BWP Trust (BWP) said that revenue was steady at $76.1m over the past six months, while profits jumped by 6 per cent to $143m thanks mostly to gains in the value of its investment properties. BWP makes most of its money from leasing large format sites to Bunnings.

Tabcorp (TAH) is up another 2.5 per cent after lifting by 9 per cent on Tuesday. The gaming group received a broker upgrade this morning a day after saying that a number of parties are interested in buying its wagering business.

Carsales.com (CAR) is up 6 per cent after a major investment bank said it believe the share price declines since late October could be overdone. CAR shares have come under pressure following the positive vaccine news last year.

Afterpay (APT) is down by 0.3 per cent. Clearpay – its buy-now-paylater business in the UK – welcomed potentially increased regulation of the industry overnight. APT remains within ~3 per cent of a record high.

Myanmar Metals (MYL) entered voluntary administration today due to the political turmoil in Myanmar. MYL said it aims to provide shareholders with an update by next Wednesday.

3.4bn shares have changed hands so far, worth $2.7bn. 843 stocks are up, 413 down and 377 are flat.

Published by CommSec