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ASX finishes higher for 5th session

The ASX 200 finished 70.8 points, or 1.0 per cent higher today to 6,998.8, its fifth straight day of gains.

The index hit a 13-month high this morning when it surpassed 7,000 points, the first time this has happened since the pandemic struck, notes CommSec.

 · Sectors were green across the board, with materials leading the pack, up 1.83 per cent. Telecom and financials were also strong, rising 1.24 per cent and 1.07 per cent respectively. Utilities, property and industrials were the worst performing sectors.

· Worley (WOR) was awarded an engineering services contract by Phillips 66 to convert its San Francisco refinery in Rodeo, California into a renewable fuels-manufacturing facility.

· Scentre Group (SCG), which owns Westfield shopping centres in ANZ, suffered a first strike against its remuneration report at today's AGM.

 · Imugene (IMU) continued to rally, up 3.23% after lifting 19.2% two days prior.. The immuno-oncology company announced progress in a clinical trial of a cancer treatment.

· News Corp (NWS) announced private offering of $750m of Senior Notes due 2029. It plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions and working capital.

 · Western Areas (WSA) recorded a 20% quarter on quarter lift in total nickel mined and 27% rise in mined ore grade over the March quarter.

· Westpac (WBC) is facing civil proceedings from ASIC relating to the sale of consumer credit insurance (CCI) products to 384 customers. The proceedings relate to allegations that WBC supplied CCI to customers who had not requested or agreed to acquire it.

· In economic news, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has supported the case for a proposed $US2.5tn corporate tax increase over 15 years to fund President Biden’s $US2tn infrastructure program, describing the tax increase as ‘mutually beneficial’.

· The AUD buys 76.3 U.S. cents having briefly traded at 76.0 U.S. cents. Today, 8.0b units were traded worth $6.6b with 813 stocks higher, 547 lower and 389 unchanged


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