The local sharemarket is gaining momentum following a flat start despite CSL and the big banks lagging. AMP’s shares are up over 1 per cent after the wealth manager announced Boe Pahari has been stood down while Chairman David Murray has resigned over the handling of a sexual harassment case. Afterpay is up around 3 per cent after reaching a record high in early trade following its announcement of a European acquisition. Fortescue Metals Group has advanced almost 4 per cent after paying out a bumper dividend and posting record profit. Reliance Worldwide is the market’s top performer up 19 per cent after reporting strong sales through the 2020 financial year.
The S&P/ASX 200 index
The index is 8 points higher or 0.1 per cent higher at 6,119. On the futures market the SPI is 17 points higher.
Local economic news
The ABS says fewer people reported feeling concerned about their personal health due to COVID-19 in June than in May (54% compared to 62%). While, employed people with qualifications were twice as likely to have worked from home than those without (39% compared to 19%).
Credit Suisse has downgraded Charter Hall (ASX:CHC) to neutral from outperform. The investment bank says the stock appears fairly valued the target price is raised to $12.21 from $9.17. Shares in the company are currently trading at 0.1 per cent lower at $12.28.
Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares have hit a new record high after the company announced plans to expand into the European payments market. The buy now pay later company has inked a deal to buy Spanish credit provider Pagantis in a deal worth at least €50 million. Pagantis provides traditional buy now, pay later credit services across Spain, Italy and France with approvals in place to operate in Portugal. Afterpay is currently 3.4 per cent higher at $81.62.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector is IT gaining 2.1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is energy losing 0.9 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC) rising 18.8 per cent to $3.41, followed by shares OOH!Media (ASX:OML) and Nearmap (ASX:NEA).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is G8 Education (ASX:GEM) dropping 9.3 per cent to $0.88, followed by shares in NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF) and Qantas (ASX:QAN).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,934 an ounce.
Iron ore price Is 1.5 per cent lower at US$127.38
Iron ore futures are suggesting a fall of 1.3 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.74 US cents.