All-time high for ASX ahead of earnings reports

Steven DeareAAP
The ASX rose to its highest level in history in the first two hours of trade.
Camera IconThe ASX rose to its highest level in history in the first two hours of trade. Credit: AAP

Shares have hit a record high on the Australian market ahead of an eventful week domestically and abroad.

The ASX200 rose to the highest level in its history, 7417.6 points, five minutes after trading began.

The iron ore miners were powering the index. Rio Tinto had gains of nearly two per cent, while BHP improved by about one and a half per cent.

However the rest of the market was largely subdued. Energy shares lost about one per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 17 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 7411.4 at 1200 AEST on Monday.

The All Ordinaries was up 18.4 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 7689.3.

Earnings season begins this week on the ASX and many investors will be keen to learn the impact of current coronavirus lockdowns.

Rio Tinto will deliver first-half earnings on Wednesday.

Australian inflation data is due the same day. Economists have tipped a jump as low interest rates encourage spending.

Meanwhile some of the biggest companies in the US will report their earnings this week.

Tech giants Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft will report and outline the economic challenges ahead.

Stocks rallied to record highs on Wall Street on Friday.

Investors overcame earlier worries of the coronavirus’ fast-spreading Delta variant hampering the US economy.

In Australia, coronavirus lockdowns in South Australia and Victoria appear to be set to end this week.

NSW’s lockdown is likely to be extended to August. There were 145 infections reported on Monday.

In company news, property group GPT has scrapped its guidance due to the lockdowns.

GPT withdrew distribution guidance due to the uncertainty of when the lockdowns would ease.

The group is due to give first-half earnings on August 16.

Shares were down 2.52 per cent to $4.63.

Crown Resorts slipped 2.49 per cent to $9.77 after the Perth Casino Royal Commission was given more time to complete investigations.

The commission has until March 4 to examine whether the company is fit to hold the licence for the casino.

A similar inquiry is being held in Victoria.

Boral will sell its Australian timber business to the Pentarch Group for $64.5 million.

Boral said proceeds would help reduce debt and any surplus would be given to shareholders.

Shares were down 0.06 per cent to $7.40.

Womens fashion chain City Chic has bought online fashion trader Navabi for $9.6 million.

Most of Navabi’s customers are in Germany and City Chic wants to improve sales across Europe.

City Chic said preliminary full-year sales figures showed a rise of almost 33 per cent on the previous year.

Sales this financial year have so far bettered expectations.

Shares were up 6.37 per cent to $5.75.

In banking, the Commonwealth was the only one of the big four higher. Shares rose 0.1 per cent to $99.22.

The others of the group were lower by less than half a per cent.

The Australian dollar was buying 73.53 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 73.70 US cents at Friday’s close.

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