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The Australian sharemarket is lifting for a second day, hitting another record high, with the ASX 200 up by 0.84 per cent to 7,278.1. Most sectors are higher despite another reasonably underwhelming performance from US markets overnight. This is ahead of a key update on the state of America’s labour market tomorrow.

The local market is currently on track to lift for a third straight week and has had a reasonably positive start to the final month of the financial year. Record low interest rates, a huge amount of government stimulus and a number of viable vaccines have helped pushed markets higher over the past year.

Energy stocks are continuing to stand out, lifting by 3.1 per cent following a 1.6 per cent lift in oil prices last night. Oil prices have been supported this week thanks partly to the reduced likelihood of an imminent return of Iranian oil to the market, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister suggesting a lift in global oil demand and some restraint shown by major oil rich nations at a key meeting earlier this week.

The major banks are the largest contributors to the market’s gains at lunch. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) hit a fresh record high of $101.77 this morning.

Iron ore miners are underwhelming today but have mostly advanced this week. Fortescue Metals (FMG) is up slightly today however, and has improved by over 5 per cent in four days. The iron ore price has surged by 12 per cent since last Friday. The gains have stemmed from a draft plan released by Chinese policymakers, which could help increase steel production in a major steel making hub. Copper prices declined by 1 per cent due to government discussions in Chile suggesting a lift in taxes on copper miners is a possibility from 2024.

Galaxy Resources (GXY) has upgraded its production goals for the year. The lithium miner expects to produce between 195,000 to 210,000dmt of spodumene concentrate (previously 185,000 – 200,000dmt).

Sezzle (SZL) is up 15 per cent after entering a three-year agreement with US retailer Target Corporation. Under the agreement, Sezzle’s buy-now-pay-later product will be used instore and across Target’s digital platform. Paladin (PDN) has commenced trading on an over the counter market in the US. The uranium miner remains listed on the ASX.

CIMIC’s (CIM) subsidiary CPB Contractors has been awarded a $150m contract to build a residential tower over Sydney Metro’s new Pitt Street Station. CIM is down 1.3 per cent.

2.1bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $2.4bn. 745 stocks are up, 519 down and 380 are flat.

Published by CommSec