“I don’t think there’s any clear direction, with the US election a couple of weeks away everything’s just floating around between up and down with a few bits of volatility in pockets.”
The energy sector was the biggest laggard, falling 1.85 per cent, followed by real estate and the financials sectors with falls of 1 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively. Consumer staples and healthcare led the charge for the day’s late gains, both appreciating 0.15 per cent.
A total of 67 companies were higher at the close, led by Healius which jumped 9.3 per cent after a bullish trading update. The banks dragged on the index, with CBA and Westpac down 0.5 per cent.
The retail sector was at the forefront of the late recovery, boosted partially by hopes of an earlier-than-expected reopening date in Victoria, where thousands of stores are currently shut under lockdown laws.
A draft document circulated by the government to the industry on Thursday outlined plans for a COVIDSafe retail reopening in Victoria and hints that the state government may be gearing up for an October 26 reopening, around one week earlier than the mooted November 1 date.
Mr Hannah said COVID-19 case numbers were looking good in Victoria and that he was “absolutely” expecting a rebound in retail stocks once the state reopens, especially for food retailers and sellers of household goods.
“There’s no doubt if Victoria opens back up, there will be a bounce,” he said.
Coca-Cola Amatil finished the day up 2.7 per cent, and major supermarket supplier Metcash managed a 0.65 per cent gain after a positive note from Macquarie analysts.
Financial services giant AMP finished the day down 5.5 per cent after a weak funds update earlier in the day which saw $1.1 billion leave AMP Capital in net external cash outflows.