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Telstra (ASX:TLS) dividend boost

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Seventh heaven, China bans coal, Telstra (ASX:TLS) dividend boost, US markets fall

The ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) reached its highest point in seven months, passing 6,200 points after improving 1.0% on Tuesday.

This takes the rally to seven straight days with all sectors except materials finishing higher.

The financial sector continues to outperform as economic conditions return to normal, despite the continued lockdowns in Victoria, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX:NAB) finished 1.9% higher.

  • Even at current prices the sector is still over one third lower than its 2020 highs.

    Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS) was the highlight of the day finishing 4.0% higher after the Chairman suggested the current dividend would be retained even if it required a higher pay-out ratio; this came at the same time that profit forecasts for 2021 were confirmed.

    The quasi trade war with China continued with reports that the Chinese were set to ban coal exports from Australia, sending New Hope Coal (ASX:NHC) 7.3% lower.

    On the positive side the economy is leading the world out of the crisis, with exports growing 9.9% in September and imports 13.2% higher.

    Another record for Hub 24 (ASX:HUB), Challenger issues more debt, Maggie Beer (ASX:MBH) selling cheese

    Maggie Beer Holdings (ASX:MBH) rallied 14.8% after joining the online sales boom.

    The microcap reported 237% growth in online sales in Q1, albeit off a very small base, of just 5% of total sales.

    The company also signed a deal with meal kit distributor Marley Spoon (ASX:MMM) to include cheese platters in weekly meal deliveries.

    Solid sales growth but clearly not material. Annuity issuer Challenger Financial Group (ASX:CGF) offered an update to investors whilst launching a $250 million capital note to repay upcoming maturities.

    Priced at a 4.6% to 4.8% premium to the Bank Bill Swap Rate, supported by a solid asset base the offer appears to be reasonable value. Independent platform provider, Hub 24 Ltd (ASX:HUB) hit another milestone, with assets under management increasing 32% to $19 billion.

    Management highlighted another 27 new licensees had joined, triggering a record $1.36 billion in net inflows during September. 

    Shares finished 2.2% higher on the news.

    Apple announces new iPhone, bank concerns grow, mixed day for US stocks

    The S&P 500 fell 0.6% and the Nasdaq ended flat.

    Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) finished 2.0% lower despite releasing its new iPhone 12 model, which included 5G connectivity, along with a new in-home assistant, Homepod Mini.

    But once again it was stimulus discussions, with the Democrats pushing back on the Republicans.

    It’s looking more likely that nothing will come to fruition before the election, which doesn’t bode well for markets in the short term.

    Both JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup lifting third quarter earnings on the back of higher trading volumes.

    JP Morgan saw a 30% increase in in overall trading but 29% in fixed income as investors become more active.

    The bank added just $611 million to its impairments for potential loan losses, far less than the $10 billion in the second quarter.

    The result bodes well for Australia’s own investment bank, Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG), which should benefit today.

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