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ASX 200 at nine month high

ASX 200 at nine month high, Ampol (ASX:ALD) announces off-market buy back, US markets stronger on vaccine hopes

The ASX200 (ASX:XJO) got off to a positive start to the week, adding 0.4% and hitting a nine month high. 

The strength was broad-based but primarily coming from travel and energy-based sectors with the latter adding 2.8% on the back of the first Melbourne to Sydney flight in months. 

  • One key detractor was Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG) falling over 6.0% after coming out of its post capital raising trading halt following last week’s court decision. 

    Integrated fuel processor and retailer Ampol Ltd (ASX:ADL) was a key contributor to the rally, adding 4.6% after offering markets a solid update and announcing a $300 million off-market buy back. 

    The buyback comes following the sale of 49% of ADL’s stake in the portfolio of Australian service station and convenience retail assets to Charter Hall (ASX:CHC) for $635 million. 

    Management took the opportunity to highlight the continued resilience of the International fuel and convenience retail division which have offset c15% declines in aviation sales in 2020.

    BGH increases offer for Village Roadshow (ASX:VRL), Home Co Daily Needs (ASX:HDN) Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) explodes

    In a sign things are returning to normal, private equity player BGH Capital was forced to increase their offer for Movie World owner Village Roadshow (ASX:VRL) to $3.00 from $2.32 sending the share price up 16.3% on the news. 

    The increased offer highlights the unique position Australia find itself in compared to the rest of the world. 

    Our success in combatting COVID-19 combined with world leading levels of fiscal stimulus bodes well for the economy as the US faces close to 1 million new cases each week. 

    Home Consortium (ASX:HMC) completed the demerger of the Daily Needs REIT (ASX:HDN) with the $300 million listing well received due to its high quality tenants, including Woolworths (ASX:WOW) and long term leases. 

    Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) continued its strong recent run bouncing 17.6% following it’s tie up with Novartis last week and a general improvement in healthcare stocks.

    Solid US session, weaker gold price but ‘rebalancing’ ahead, Australia market to open stronger

    US markets began the week on a positive note, with the rotation to companies benefiting from a reopening once again benefitting. 

    The S&P500 led the tech driven Nasdaq, finishing 0.6% higher and flat higher respectively. 

    This time the key contributor was the latest vaccine news from the Astra Zeneca (LON:AZN) trial, which despite exhibiting less efficacy is likely an easier option to rollout around the world as it doesn’t require extremely low temperatures for storage. 

    Markets are still waiting on another round of stimulus in the US, with neither party willing to concede, a decision on its own that would have created a market correct as little as a few months ago. 

    Traders are now waiting with bated breath for what is expected to be one of the largest ‘rebalancing’ events on record as pension funds are required to adjust their bond and equity exposures towards the end of this month following a strong period for equity markets.

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