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For the first time in a month, the Aussie sharemarket is lifting for a second day thanks to gains from resource and banking stocks. The ASX 200 index is up 0.7 per cent and remains on track to break a three-week losing streak.
US shares jumped last night by ~1 per cent with the S&P500 lifting for a fourth day. Hopes for easing trade tensions, a buildup of solid US economic news, some optimism ahead of next Tuesday’s meeting between President Trump and Mr Kim together with strength from iron ore, aluminium and copper is helpful.
While mining and energy stocks remain standouts, in contrast to Wednesday’s performance, the banks are playing a supporting role. The big four are lifting as much as 1.5 per cent which could help keep markets positive this afternoon.
Wesfarmers (WES) is up 1.2 per cent as it holds its Strategy Briefing Day. The owner of Bunnings and Coles said its demerger of the supermarket chain Coles is set to go ahead in FY19 and does not expect to change its dividend policy post the split. WES currently has a dividend yield near 5 per cent.
Chicken company, Inghams (ING) is down 9 per cent on the surprise resignation of the company’s CEO who said he would step down in August.
AMP Limited (AMP) is down 2 per cent on reports it is facing a fourth class action. A broker report today suggested the money manager is at risk of cutting back on its dividend payments. AMP currently has a dividend yield near 8 per cent.
Godfrey’s (GFY) delivered an update to the market after close last night. The company’s new management warned that the retailer of vacuum cleaners could face some cash flow issues in July without some assistance. GFY also flagged the likely need for an update on its profit guidance for the year in the near future.
Australia has recorded a $977m trade surplus in April (market was expecting ~$1bn). Exports have fallen by 2 per cent over the month.
The Aussie dollar is firmer at US$0.764 and remains well supported following Wednesday’s quarterly GDP beat.
2.8bn shares have changed hands worth $1.9bn. 556 stocks are up, 443 down and 394 are unchanged.
Originally published by CommSec