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ASX 200 morning report – CBA, NCK & BLD shares in focus

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) followed a strong global lead to finish 1.3% higher as investors digest Merck’s potential COVID-19 treatment.

ASX travel takes off

Positive news in the vaccine rollout following Prime Minister Morrison’s border opening last week meant the consumer discretionary sector was among the top performers, up 1.7%.

Within the sector, it was all about travel as Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) gained 9.6%, Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) 3.3% and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) 3.0%.

IDP Education Ltd (ASX: IEL) was another major beneficiary, up 8.6%, with the student placement company ready for a boom as overseas students return.

It was another ‘value’ rally with the healthcare sector the only detractor as investors once again price in a strong economic recovery.

CBA buyback oversubscribed

Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) jumped 5.1% after management confirmed its off-market share buyback was four times oversubscribed.

$24 billion of shares were tendered for a $6 billion share buyback, with the 14% maximum discount applied. The Board were forced to reduce all applications by 79.4% but will repurchase all shares of those holding less than 20 after the tender.

Nick Scali doubles size

Shares in furniture retailer Nick Scali Limited (ASX: NCK) jumped over 10.4% after announcing the acquisition of Plush Sofas from Greenlit Brands for $103 million.

The deal will double Nick Scali’s store network from 46 to 108 as it seeks to extract more margin out of its dominant position.

Boral set to return $3 billion

Shares in Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) also added another 4.2% as the Seven Group controlled entity continues to release value to shareholders.

Management confirmed as much as $3 billion in capital will be returned to shareholders in the coming months, representing almost half of Boral’s market capitalisation.

The group has successfully sold its US building products, roofing and potentially fly ash business into a strong US construction environment, bringing an end to its ill-fated expansion under the previous CEO.

Property on the up

The property sector was the other major beneficiary with open borders, between most of Australia and the rest of the world, along with fewer restrictions on movement set to hark a recovery in retail spending.

Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX) finished 3.0% higher along with Scentre Group (ASX: SCG), up 2.4%, both of whom are shopping centre owners.

ASX 200 today

The ASX 200 is tipped to open lower on Tuesday after all three US benchmarks fell overnight. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fared the worst, tumbling 2.1%. To find out more, check out my US stock market report.

The Golden Rules of Investing

We might be experts in retirement, but with combined financial advice experience of 35+ years, we’ve nearly seen it all. 

In mid-2023, our senior team at Wattle Partners Financial Planning put the finishing touches on a brand-new report “The Golden Rules of Investing“.

In this free report, we outline the key principles that determine all of the portfolio construction and investment decisions of Wattle Partners. Collated over decades, this paper should be seen as a work-in-progress, constantly under review in light of the ever-evolving nature of markets. 

You’ll find the free report on my Author page. Simply click the button below to view the Golden Rules.

Information warning: The information on this website is published by The Rask Group Pty Ltd (ABN: 36 622 810 995) is limited to factual information or (at most) general financial advice only. That means, the information and advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not specific to you, your needs, goals or objectives. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs, before acting on the information. If you don’t know what your needs are, you should consult a trusted and licensed financial adviser who can provide you with personal financial product advice. In addition, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before making a decision to acquire a financial product. Please read our Terms and Conditions and Financial Services Guide before using this website. The Rask Group Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (#1280930) of AFSL #383169.

At the time of publishing, the author of this article does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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Wattle Partners is a financial advice firm, servicing clients around Australia, specialising in retirement planning (pre and post retirement). 

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