JobKeeper and JobSeeker extended at lower rates: Aus shares close 2.6% higher

Market Reports

by Ortenzia Borre

The Australian share market rose at the open and continued to rally throughout the day closing 2.6 per cent up at the end of trade.

JobKeeper payments have been extended until March 2021 although both JobKeeper and JobSeeker wages will be reduced after September. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced the Coronavirus wage subsidy, which currently assists almost 3.5 million Australians, will be reduced in phases as the economy recovers from the pandemic’s lockdowns. JobKeeper payments will be spilt into two tiers and be reduced from $1500 a fortnight to $1200 from September 27 for full time employees. A lower rate of $750 a fortnight will go to people who worked less than 20 hours a week in February, prior to the imposed Covid-19 restrictions. 

JobSeeker payments will fall from $1100 to $815 a fortnight. No doubt a huge and important announcement affecting millions of Australians.

Nearmap (ASX:NEA) led the top 200 gains for the session, and TPG Telecom (ASX:TPG) led the losses for the day.

The S&P/ASX200 index

At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 155 points higher to finish at 6,156.

Futures market

Dow futures are suggesting a rise of 155 points.
S&P 500 futures are eyeing a gain of 21 points.
The Nasdaq futures are eyeing a lift of 103 points.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 150 point rise tomorrow morning.

Looking at today’s company news headlines:

Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure (ASX:ALG) has been charged over the 2016 Thunder River Rapids Ride tragedy that killed four people. 

All three charges are Category 2 charges that relate to an alleged failure to comply with a health and safety duty that exposes an individual to a risk of death or serious injury, with each charge carrying a maximum penalty of $1.5 million. 

Downer (AXS:DOW) has launched a $400 million equity raising to strengthen it’s balance sheet, fund acquisition of the remaining shares in Spotless and provide flexibility for continued investment in Downer’s core business.

Santos (ASX:STO) expects to recognise a non-cash impairment charge in the range of US$700-800 million before tax in the 2020 half-year results to be released on 20 August 2020. The impairment charge is due to revised oil price assumptions resulting from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on energy market demand fundamentals. 

Best and worst performers of the day

The best performing sector was Information Technology adding 5.7 per cent, while the sector with the fewest gains was Utilities, adding 1.2 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Nearmap (ASX:NEA), rising 11.2 per cent to close at $2.49. Shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) followed.

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was TPG Telecom (ASX:TPG), dropping 2.5 per cent to close at $7.89. Shares in Alumina (ASX:AWC) and Challenger (ASX:CGF) followed.

Asian markets

All higher: Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.9 per cent and the Shanghai Composite is 0.1 per cent up.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,819 an ounce.
Iron ore price lost 0.7 per cent to US$109.54.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.5 per cent.
Light crude is US$0.14 up at US$41.06 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 70.37 US cents.