Retail resilient despite shutdowns: Aus shares 2.1% higher at noon

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

The Australian share market lifted at the opening bell, rising more than 2 per cent to above 6,000, fuelled by tech stocks and a lift in the major banks. All sectors are in the green, even though retail faces a tough term ahead as non-essential bricks-and-mortar stores are forced to shut down in Melbourne for at least six weeks.

On the commodities front, gold is steady.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 123 points up at 6,049. On the futures market the SPI is 122 points higher.

Local economic news

Retail turnover rose 2.7 per cent in June, led by cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, as well as clothing and footware, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Retail Trade figures. This followed a rise of 16.9 per cent in May, as retailers try to recover from trade restrictions.

Australia's trade surplus also rose during June, up to $8.2 billion, the ABS reports today.

In more economic news to look out for today. the Reserve Bank will meet this afternoon to discuss its monetary policy.

Company news

JB HI-FI (ASX:JBH) will temporarily close its bricks-and-mortar JB HI-FI and The Good Guys stores across metropolitan Melbourne following the Victorian Government's stage 4 restrictions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The stores, which include 46 JB HI-FI retailers and 21 The Good Guys stores, will be closed for at least six weeks due to the lockdown restrictions. Online trade with click-and-collect and contactless home delivery will continue to be available. Shares in JB HI-FI (ASX:JBH) are trading 0.1 per cent lower to $44.56.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the green. Info Tech has rallied today, gaining 3.9 per cent by noon, while Utilities is the sector with the fewest gains, adding 1 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC) rising 6.6 per cent to $22.73, followed by Afterpay (ASX:APT) and The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) dropping 2.5 per cent to $3.52, followed by shares in Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) and Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,977 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 4.9 per cent higher at US$116.
Iron ore futures are suggesting a rise of around 3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.25US cents.