The Aussie market has bounced back from a slow start, with the ASX 200 lifting by 0.08 per cent to 7,120.6 and is extending the winning streak to a fifth straight day. This is despite a slight decline across American equity markets and losses from energy, materials, property and healthcare stocks.
The local market remains around 1 per cent away from a record high, however has done enough over the past five sessions to recoup last Wednesday’s 1.9 per cent tumble (the biggest daily decline in three months).
The major banks are up by a modest ~0.5 per cent so far today. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is in the spotlight, with its shares lifting for a third day, hitting fresh record highs and briefly rising above $100 per share for the first time on record. In the March quarter CBA experienced growth in home loans, household deposits and business lending. The Bank of Queensland (BOQ) is paying eligible investors a 17c per share interim dividend on Wednesday.
Most travel stocks continue to remain under some pressure as the coronavirus spike continues in Melbourne. Victoria’s COVID-19 cluster has grown to 15, while the Victorian government has suggested the next 24 hours are critical to deciding whether a lockdown is required.
A2 Milk (A2M) is slipping for a third day, with the infant formula company remaining under selling pressure and near a four-year low. Its key Daigou channel has come to a standstill due to travel restrictions with China.
Pepper Money (PPM) is down by another 1.1 per cent. The lender, which provides home, car, personal and commercial loans fell by 9.69 per cent on its market debut on Tuesday.
Energy and mining stocks are mostly lower despite a 1.8 per cent lift in iron ore prices, 0.7 per cent rise in gold and largely steady oil prices overnight.
Construction work done in Australia over the March quarter rose by 2.4 per cent (survey: +2 per cent). A component of this data together with Thursday’s business investment update will be used to help calculate next week’s economic growth reading. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has kept its official cash rate steady at 0.25 per cent.
3.2bn shares have changed hands so far today worth $2.7bn. 716 stocks are up, 574 down and 384 are flat.
Published by CommSec