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ASX Market Report

Fixed Interest
Close Points
Currency Close Points
All Ordinaries 6272 25 0.40 $A vs $US 0.7168 0.0013 0.19
S&P/ASX 200 6139 29 0.47 $A vs GBP 0.5478 0.0009 0.16
10-year Bond Rate 0.89 -- 0.56 $A vs YEN 76.06 0.23 0.30
  $A vs EUR 0.6091 -0.0005 -0.09
  $A vs $NZ 1.0835 -0.0017 -0.16
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ASX Code Company Name Impact Morningstar Rating for Stocks
AZJ Aurizon Holdings Limited (AZJ)
REA REA Group Ltd (REA)
VRL Village Roadshow Limited (VRL)
IAG Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG)

[Morningstar with AAP]: Australia's banks have played a major role in helping shares move higher for a second consecutive day.

The financial sector gained 1.14 per cent and the S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed higher by 28.5 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 6138.7 points on Tuesday.

The All Ordinaries index closed up by 25.0 points, or 0.40 per cent, at 6272.1.

The banks thrived on a positive lead from US markets, after officials in President Donald Trump's administration said on Monday that they were ready to resume negotiations on a coronavirus aid deal.

Trump signed executive orders restoring some unemployment payments and suspending payroll taxes on Saturday after talks stalled, highlighting the struggle to reach consensus.

Bell Direct market analyst Jessica Amir said cyclicals, those shares tied closely to economic recovery such as banks, particularly benefited on the ASX.

"There is belief that there is going to be support in the US for those doing it tough," she said.

Another of those cyclicals, property, was the best performing sector, up 2.06 per cent.

CMC Markets strategist Michael McCarthy was surprised by the ASX momentum.

"I certainly wasn't tipping this rise," he said.

He noted trading volumes on the ASX were light, and this could be a sign of caution at the start of the reporting season.

"The trading volumes could indicate institutional investors sat on the sidelines and it was day traders doing the buying," he said.

The Commonwealth Bank issues its results on Wednesday, but investors were not afraid to buy into the sector.

ANZ was higher by 1.76 per cent to $18.49, Commonwealth rose by 0.97 per cent to $74.70, NAB gained 2.41 per cent to $17.88 and Westpac was up 2.66 per cent to $17.78.

There were no shocks from virus cases announced in Australia on Tuesday morning. Another 19 Victorians died and 331 new cases of the virus were recorded in that state.

NSW, the only other state where authorities are concerned about infection levels, recorded 22 new cases. Most were from a cluster at a school in Sydney's northwest.

Earlier in today's session, there were record high share prices for Coles ($19.16), Fortescue ($18.92), REA Group ($117.54) and Wesfarmers ($47.44).

Elsewhere on the market, miners were doing nicely. BHP rose by 0.9 per cent to $40.20, Rio Tinto was higher by 0.85 per cent to $102.79 and Fortescue

Metals followed its record high by closing lower by 0.59 per cent to $18.38.

Building products manufacturer James Hardie gained 6.83 per cent to $32.22 after fibre cement sales in North America helped its first-quarter results.

Management expect full-year net operating profit to be between $330 million and $390 million. Hardie recorded a $352.8 million profit for 2020.

Sydney Airport is in a trading halt after it revealed plans for an equity raising and a hit to its first-half results. The shares last traded at $5.39.

Australia's most active airport reported a net loss of $53.6 million for the first half of this calendar year - a dramatic turnaround from a profit of $17.3 million for the same time last year.

Management will cut costs and debt and warned jobs could be lost after the coronavirus pandemic forced it into the red.

Shares in Australian biotech Mesoblast plunged by 31.01 per cent to $3.36 ahead of its meeting this week with US government officials for the approval of its product called Ryoncil.

Mesoblast said the intravenous therapy can treat steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease in children.

Ampol said it would restart its refinery in Lytton, Brisbane during September. The company brought forward maintenance when fuel demand dropped amid the coronavirus crisis.

Ampol shares were trading lower by 0.61 per cent to $29.57.

The Australian dollar was buying 71.60 US cents at 1711 AEST, lower from 71.67 US cents at Monday's close.


* The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed higher by 28.5 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 6138.7 points on Tuesday.

* The All Ordinaries index closed up by 25.0 points, or 0.40 per cent, at 6272.1.

* At 1711 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was trading higher by 6.0 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 6,100 points.

The NZX 50 lost -38.12 points (-0.33%) to 11,645.32 while Nikkei gained 420.30 points (1.88%) at the time of writing, to be closed at 22,750.24.

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