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Australian share market morning report – ASX stocks to watch

The Australian sharemarket and ASX 200 could open flat on Friday morning, according to futures contracts. 

The Australian sharemarket and ASX 200 could open flat on Friday morning, according to futures contracts.

On Thursday here in Australia, the ASX 200 finished down another 0.4% following another volatile day, bouncing off lows but benefitting from stronger than expected results out of China.

The weakness was once again driven by the major banks, Westpac (-2.2%) and the Commonwealth Bank (-1.8%) as investors turn away from the sector following flagged dividend cuts and bad debt increases. The merger of TPG Telecom and Vodafone is getting closer after the deal reached FIRB approval.

  • Goodman, Amazon’s domestic partner in logistics warehousing has been a key beneficiary of the move online, reaffirmed its profit guidance for an 11.3% increase in FY20 and maintained its dividend. Goodman stock was up 4% as a result. Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) provides a quarterly update today.

    Trade deal back on the table?

    Political and economic results are driving markets elsewhere, with another US threat to push back on the Chinese trade deal roiling markets before today’s announcement of another meeting to discuss progress against the agreed terms. China appears to be moving on from COVID-19 at full steam, with exports unexpectedly increasing 3.5% in April, following the ramping up of manufacturing capability.

    The US markets rose overnight, S&P 500 up 1.2% and the NASDAQ 1.4%, which takes the latter into positive territory for 2020 — a stunning result. The tech-heavy benchmark is clearly benefitting from the strength and market leadership of the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Apple. I recently covered Microsoft as one of our “Never Sell” stocks. The gains come despite US unemployment claims increasing 3.2 million for the week, albeit a slowdown on previous results.

    PayPal user growth hits record

    Shares in both PayPal and ride-sharing company Uber rallied, with PayPal adding 7.4 million new accounts in April and reporting the largest transaction day in its history on May 1. Uber’s losses continue to stack up, losing $2.94 billion on $3.54 billion in revenue with cost-cutting ahead.

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