Aussie market kicks off the week on a high: Travel sector pushes higher on hopes of further government support

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The Aussie market got off to a strong start to the new week. The S&P/ ASX 200 has snapped two consecutive losses last Thursday and Friday with to close 119 points or 2.2 per cent higher to 5616. Travel shares surged after the Treasurer said further industry support is possible. Qantas added 7 per cent, Webjet shares rose 15.6 per cent, Flight Centre gained 12 per cent, Apollo Tourism & Leisure shares climbed 12 per cent and Helloworld Travel rose 6 per cent.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 129 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a lift of 15 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a jump of 60 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 104 point gain tomorrow morning.

Broker moves

Citi has increased its price target on Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) by nearly 20 per cent to $36.60 on the back of the company’s decision to close up to 75 Target stores over the next 18 months.
The broker retained its sell rating on the stock but says the store network shrinkage was an appropriate first step towards a further rationalisation of Target. Shares in Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) Wesfarmers closed 1.7 per cent higher at $39.50

Company news

IOOF (ASX:IFL) will not be required to pay claimants after a settlement was agreed with plaintiffs and their lawyers Quinn Emanuel in the class action launched against the company last year.Shares in IOOF (ASX:IFL) closed 2.8 per cent higher at $4.45.

Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares jumped more than 9 per cent today to hit a fresh record of $48.50. Shares lifted after news is that Elana Rubin's interim chairman position has been made permanent, and the buy-now-pay-later company has appointed US-based Sharon Rothstein to its board. Ms Rothstein is also on the board of Yelp.

Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) has entered into a share sale agreement with respect to its New Zealand business Stuff, as a management buy-out by its current CEO, Sinead Boucher.

Following the sale, Nine Entertainment will received $NZ1 (93¢) however it will retain ownership of the Petone print plant site in Wellington which will be leased back to Stuff.

Aged care operator Estia Health (ASX:EHE) says disruptions caused by COVID-19 has led to a fall in occupancy levels which will lead to higher ongoing costs.

Telehealth company InteliCare (ASX:ICR) has debuted on the ASX today with an issue price of 20 cents, launching at 39 cents and closing at 31 and a half cents.

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Information technology adding 3.6 per cent while the sector with the least gains was materials closing 1.3 per cent higher.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Webjet (ASX:WEB)  rising 15.6 per cent to $4.16, followed by shares in Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) and Southern Cross Media group (ASX:SXL)

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200was Technology One (ASX:TNE) dropping 4.2 per cent to $9.49, followed by shares in Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) and IGO (ASX:IGO).

Asian markets

Hong Kong's Hang Seng is down 0.6 per cent as investors continue to fret over China's proposed national security law, which sparked street protests on Sunday. The sharemarket is on track for a third day of losses.
lower: Japan’s Nikkei IS 1.6 PER CENT HIGHER and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.1 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,728 an ounce.
Iron ore price dropped 0.6 per cent to US$97.65
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.4 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.33 up at US$35.51 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.31 US cents.