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ASX 200 finishes 0.6% higher, Aussie house prices fall

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) finished the day higher today by 0.6%.

Investor eyes continue to focus on the growing COVID-19 numbers in Melbourne.

Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) shares grow

Out of all the ASX 200 shares, Nextdc saw the biggest rise today with a share price rise of almost 8%.

What happened? It announced material contract wins in New South Wales. Contracted commitments in NSW have risen by approximately 4MW to more than 36MW. This means contracted customer commitments plus expansion options at NSW data centres are now approaching 60MW.

Due to the new customer commitments, Nextdc has committed to completing the S2 fit-out to a total planned capacity of 30MW.

Revenue recognition for the new contracted commitments is expected to commence during FY21 after completion and commissioning of the associated data halls.

House prices fell faster in June 2020

The CoreLogic Home Value Index showed a second consecutive decline of national house prices. The national index showed a 0.7% drop in June.

Melbourne and Perth showed the heaviest declines of 1.1% each over the month. Sydney prices fell 0.8%, Brisbane prices dropped 0.4% and Adelaide registered a 0.2% fall. However, both Hobart and Darwin saw growth of 0.3% and Canberra managed an increase of 0.1%.

CoreLogic head of research, Tim Lawless, warned about what may happen down the road: “While it is encouraging to see lenders have recently hinted at an extension in their repayment leniency policies, the government stimulus will eventually taper and banks will require borrowers to repay their loans.  The longer term outlook for the housing market is largely dependent on how well the economy is tracking when these support measures are removed.”

Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) new model doesn’t impress

The ASX 200 insurance business was one of the worst performers today. The Suncorp share price went down 4% after announcing changes.

There will be two people in charge of the Australian insurance division. One will focus on the underwriting, distribution, brands, marketing, product design and innovation. The other executive will be responsible for all aspects of claims management and operations.

Suncorp is also going to combine a number of the insurance and group functions to create a more streamlined and efficient organisation.

Clive van Horen has been appointed to the vacant CEO of banking and wealth division.

The ASX 200 company also announced that the FY21 natural hazard allowance is expected to increased by $90 million to $130 million. The FY21 main catastrophe reinsurance program is going to be finalised with a similar structure to previous years, with new aggregate excess of loss cover purchased for FY21 providing $400 million of cover for events in excess of $5 million once the retained cost of these events reaches $650 million.

ASX travel shares jump

Aside from Victoria, the other Australian states look like they’re in good shape to resume travel again.

The Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) share price went up almost 8%.

The Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price climbed around 7.5%.

Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) announced today it has access to a debt facility of up to GBP 65 million from the Bank of England. It will be used as and when required to help offset the COVID-19 impacts in the UK. The Flight Centre share price rose 3% today.

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price went up 2.4% and the Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) share price rose 1.2%.

ASX 200 declines

Trading has begun for the new telcos on the ASX. Singapore-based telco Tuas Limited (ASX: TUA) suffered a share price decline of 24% after it was divested from TPG Corporation Ltd (ASX: TPM). According to the ASX, the new entity called TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPG) suffered a share price fall of around 4% today.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited and Webjet Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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