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The Australian sharemarket continues to play follow the leader with the US bourse, as the ASX 200 lifts by 1.2 per cent thanks to a strong gain for American markets. US stocks rose by ~1.5 per cent, which was enough to bounce back from the most significant tumble in 10 weeks in the US on Monday.

Keep in mind that this is the first gain of the week for the Australian sharemarket, which has experienced a choppy month due to the rapid spread of COVID-19’s Deltra strain and lockdown uncertainty. The ASX 200 has been stuck in a relatively narrow 200pt trading range since hitting a record high in mid-June.

Greater Sydney’s 110 cases were far from encouraging, with 43 infectious in the community. This followed 78 cases identified a day earlier. While Victoria identified 22 locally-acquired cases, all were linked to the current outbreaks.

South32 (S32) released its June quarter update, with its shares lifting by 1.4 per cent. S32 – which was spun-off from BHP in 2015 – delivered a lift in production from the March quarter for alumina, aluminium manganese ore, nickel, silver, lead and zinc. Production declined for metallurgical coal and energy coal.

Atlas Arteria (ALX) released toll revenue and traffic statistics for the June quarter. The results showed signs of improvement from May, helped by the easing of COVID-19 movement restrictions in parts of Europe. ALX owns toll roads in Europe and the United States.

Construction group CIMIC (CIM) released its half-year results, highlighting a 10.6 per cent lift in group revenue to $7.1bn and a $208m net profit. CIM has maintained its FY21 guidance range of $400-$430m and declared a 42c per share interim dividend. It last paid an interim dividend in October 2019, which was paused due to the pandemic. (KGN) provided a business update this morning. The online retailer said sales and profits rose by more than 50 per cent in FY21 according to its preliminary figures. Its financial performance was impacted by inventory management issues. KGN is down 0.2 per cent.

Lendlease (LLC) has agreed to sell its services business for $310m to Services Stream (SSM) which is in a trading halt as it raises funds to help pay for the acquisition.

Thorn Group (TGA) and Magellan Global Fund (MGF) are set to pay eligible investors dividends today.

1.9bn shares have changed hands so far worth $2.7bn. 826 stocks are up, 440 down and 378 are flat.

Published by CommSec