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Online retail shares gain from lockdowns

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Investors piled into online retail and supermarket stocks tipped to profit from new coronavirus lockdowns in Australia, and abandoned travel providers.

Luxury goods trader Cettire and furniture provider Temple & Webster gained more than 10 per cent on the first day of trading in a two-week lockdown for Sydney and surrounds.

Darwin and nearby regions had a lockdown extended to five days, while mask and capacity limits were raised elsewhere on fears the Sydney outbreak has spread.

Investors bailed on travel stocks, expecting travel restrictions to decimate sales.

Qantas and Webjet lost more than four per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed lower by 0.7 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 7307.3 on Monday.

The All Ordinaries closed down by 6.1 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 7572.5.

The results were largely consistent with markets in Asia, where several countries are verging on more virus restrictions.

Indonesia is battling record high cases. A lockdown in Malaysia is set to be extended. Thailand set new virus rules for Bangkok.

A good lead from the US may have prevented noteable losses.

The S&P 500 ended last week at a record high after weaker-than-expected inflation data.

Investors may have been less worried about the Federal Reserve winding back support for the economy.

US payrolls data for June, due at the end of the week, will be closely watched.

Analysts expect unemployment to drop to 5.7 per cent, which could raise investor fears that the central bank may ease support.

On the ASX, Woolworths rose 2.91 per cent to $37.85 after shoppers in NSW and the Northern Territory filled supermarkets in panic buying.

The retail giant's gains helped consumer staples shares be the best performers. They rose 1.48 per cent.

Cettire was best of the online retailers and gained 14.04 per cent to $2.68.

Kogan, which had roaring success last year from people shopping at home, rose 6.56 per cent to $13.00.

However technology shares fared worst and dropped 2.81 per cent.

Afterpay lost 7.52 per cent to $119.30.

In mining, BHP after trading closed said it sold its 33.3 per cent stake in Colombian coal joint venture Cerrejon.

BHP sold the stake to Glencore for $US294 million.

The biggest miner on the ASX also fared best of the big three and rose 1.04 per cent to $48.40.

In banking, Westpac sold its car dealer financing and leasing businesses to Angle Finance.

Shares closed lower by 0.27 per cent.

IGA Supermarkets owner and distributor Metcash has reported record annual sales and will buy back shares.

The sales momentum for the 2021 fiscal year ended April has continued in the first eight weeks of the new year, as consumers continued to spend heavily on food, liquor and hardware.

Metcash reported a bottom-line net profit of $239 million for fiscal 2021.

Shareholders will receive a final full franked dividend of 9.5 cents per share. This is higher than the previous final dividend of 0.065 cents per share.

The company will buy back shares off-market up to the value of $175 million.

Shares on the ASX were up 0.82 per cent to $3.69.

The Australian dollar was buying 75.95 US cents at 1731 AEST, higher from 75.92 US cents at Friday's close.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed lower by 0.7 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 7307.3 on Monday.

* The All Ordinaries closed down by 6.1 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 7572.5.

* At 1731 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up seven points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7212.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 75.95 US cents, from 75.92 cents on Friday

* 84.03 Japanese yen, from 84.08 yen

* 63.62 Euro cents, from 63.59 cents

* 54.53 British pence, from 54.60 pence

* 107.24 NZ cents, from 107.31 cents.

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