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ASX 200 jumps 2% higher, Afterpay soars

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has risen 1.9% to 6,038 points.

Here are some of the main headlines from today:

RBA holds interest rates

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced today that it is keeping the official interest rate at 0.25%. However, it is planning to start buying government bonds again.

RBA boss Dr Lowe said that extending stimulus like jobkeeper was good for the economy and it seems like stimulus will be needed for some time.

Plenty of ASX 200 finance related businesses saw their share prices rise today.

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price climbed 2.4%, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price went up 2.5%, the Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) share price rose 2.6%, the National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price grew 1.5% and the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price increased 2.2%.

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) finishes its capital raising

The buy now, pay later business today announced that its capital raising finished on 30 July 2020. Afterpay had given retail shareholders the option to apply for up to $20,000 without needing to pay brokerage and other transaction costs.

The ASX 200 company said that the raising was set at a share price of $66 per share, being the same share price for institutional and professional investors.

Afterpay said that it raised approximately $136 million from retail shareholders. Around 19% of shareholders applied for an average of $13,300 worth of new shares.

The Afterpay share price rose by almost 7% today.

BWP Trust (ASX: BWP)

BWP Trust released its FY20 result today. If you don’t know what the business does, it’s a property landlord. It predominately leases its large warehouses to Bunnings.

Revenue dropped 0.3% to $1.56 million and profit before valuation gains on its investment properties was up 1% to $117 million. The property trust achieved like for like rental growth of 2.4% for the 12 months to 30 June 2020.

Net profit rose 24.4% to $210.6 million and its net tangible assets per unit increased by 4.8% to $3.06. The gearing ratio for the ASX 200 share was just 19.7%.

BWP Trust increased its final distribution by 1% to 9.27 cents per unit, adding to the 1% increase of the interim distribution.

Management expect the FY21 distribution to be similar to the FY20 distribution.

COVID-19 closure impacts on retail businesses

Various major retail businesses announced the impact of the Victorian stage four restrictions today.

JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) said its Melbourne stores are being closed but it can fulfill orders with home delivery or contactless click and collect. The ASX 200 company’s warehouses and Melbourne metro store network will be operational to fulfil online and commercial orders.

Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) said that 22 Big W stores will be closed, though regional stores can continue to operate. Home delivery will continue and contactless in-store pick-up, plus ‘drive-up’ is offered at 15 of the 22 impacted stores. All Victorian ALH hotels are closed. Woolworths is working hard to ensure its meat supply (and other products) can continue.

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) announced that all of its retail businesses – Bunnings, Kmart, Target and Officeworks – will need to shut to retail customers.

However, all of its online operations can continue with home delivery and contactless click and collect options.

Bunnings will remain open for trade customers but will be closed for in-store retail customers.

Kmart and Target stores in metropolitan Melbourne won’t be able to service customers in-store.

Officeworks can continue to service business customers, but will be closed for in-store retail customers.

Wesfarmers said that in FY20 it derived approximately 17% of its retail sales from stores in metropolitan Melbourne.

The ASX 200 business said that its industrial businesses are expected to continue to operate. Those include Blackwoods, Workwear Group Coregas, Australian Vinyls and Modwood.

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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 Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO, Wesfarmers Limited, and Woolworths 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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