Record highs in reporting season: Aus shares lift 1.8% by closing bell

Market Reports

by Kathy Skantzos

It has been a positive day of trade for the Australian share market with the local bourse inclining steadily throughout the day to close in the green 1.8 per cent higher. The banks led the pack and a long list of companies traded at record highs on the back of their investor updates, including Mesoblast. Kogan, Ansell, Sonic Healthcare, NextDC and Adairs. On the backfoot, some miners slipped, oil prices fell and gold is tracking lower.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 105 points higher to finish at 6,110.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 106 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a rise of 7 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 4 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 98-point rise tomorrow morning.

Local economic news

A survey released by the ABS today reveals that the Covid-19 stimulus money one in three Australians (32 per cent) received in May has been used on household expenses including bills and food, as well as put away for savings.

Company news

PAS Group (ASX:PGR) announced today it will sell its iconic Australian JETS Swimwear business to Seafolly Holdings, which is Australia's largest swimwear brand. The sale price was not disclosed. Shares in PAS Group (ASX:PGR) last traded at $0.05.

Online retailer (ASX:KGN) has added 126,000 new customers in July, bringing its active customer base to more than 2.3 million.

Bedding company Adairs (ASX:ADH) reported a 19 per cent lift in FY2020 net profit after tax of $35.3 million compared to a year ago, on the back of online retail sales.

Rail freight company Aurizon (ASC:AZJ) has launched a $300 million buyback as it reports a 28 per cent increase in net profit to $605 million.

Real estate investment trust GPT Group (ASX:GPT) has taken a hit in the current economic climate as it reports a $519.1 million loss for the first half of the year.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector was Financials adding 2.6 per cent while the worst performing sector was Communication Services, still in the green adding 0.8 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) rising 10.7 per cent to $4.87, followed by shares in Credit Corp Group (ASX:CCP) and News Corp (ASX:NWS).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was oOh!media (ASX:OML) dropping 4.3 per cent to $0.78, followed by shares in Charter Hall Long Wale (ASX:CLW) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG).

Asian markets
Mixed: Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.2 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 1.2 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,034 an ounce.
Iron ore price is 1.7 per cent lower at US$119.21.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 0.8 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.53 lower at US$41.75 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.68US cents. 

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