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ASX 200 rises 1%, Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC) climbs 11%

ASX 200
Credit: Cimexus

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) went up by 1% today to 5,873 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX 200:

Reliance Worldwide Corporation Ltd (ASX: RWC)

The Reliance Worldwide share price jumped 11% after releasing a first quarter trading update to 25 September 2020 as part of an investor day presentation.

The plumbing business said that, overall, the sales performance in each of its three regions has continued to track in line (in constant currency terms) with what was reported when it announced its FY20 result.

The Americas region showed sales growth of 22% in July, 15% in August and 29% in September.

APAC has seen sales growth of 5% in July, a decline of 2% in August and growth of 4% in September.

The EMEA region saw a sales decline of 4% in July, growth of 5% in August and growth of 24% in September.

Reliance Worldwide’s CEO Heath Sharp said that FY21 has started well for the ASX 200 share, but forward visibility remains limited in most markets due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19:

“The first quarter of the 2021 financial year has been particularly strong from a sales perspective. Looking ahead, we remain cautious. The US has been boosted by the surge in DIY activity and the return of construction activity to pre-COVID levels, but without further government stimulus measures this growth is likely to slow. We expect some softening in the Australian market as the reduction in new housing construction approvals leads to lower building activity.

“In the UK we are uncertain as to where underlying demand levels will settle once the pent-up demand for products and plumbing services has been satisfied. We are also watchful as to the impact the recent rise in COVID-19 case numbers may have on demand and plumbing activities there. Given the continuing uncertainties in all our markets as a result of COVID-19 we would caution against extrapolating the first quarter’s sales performance for the full year.”

Lynas Corporation Ltd (ASX: LYC)

The Lynas share price went up more than 5% after investors sensed the ASX 200 share was a beneficiary of an announcement from the US.

According to reporting by media, such as the Australian Financial Review, President Trump has used government power to allow direct state investments into ‘critical minerals’ projects in Australia to reduce the reliance of the US on Chinese supplies. This could be helpful for the ASX 200 share.

As one of the world’s biggest non-Chinese rare earth miners, Lynas is positioned to benefit. It’s already got a contract to build a processing facility in Texas.

The business could also benefit from Australia’s own plan to invest in its manufacturing capabilities

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)

CBA announced its August data for loan repayment deferrals today. The CBA share price went up almost 1%. 

The ASX 200 bank said that the amount of loan deferrals that expired or were exited in August was $5.7 billion.

CBA revealed that the number of home loans still being deferred in August 2020 was 7.4% of the portfolio, down from 7.6% in July and 8.2% in June.

New approved or extended loan deferrals was $2.3 billion in August, with $1.7 billion of this was an extension by the ASX 200 bank of an existing deferral.

CBA CEO Matt Comyn said: “Since the onset of the pandemic, our priority has been to do what we can to assist our customers in managing the challenges of COVID-19, including providing temporary loan repayment deferrals on approximately 250,000 home, personal and business loans. As we approach the end of the initial deferral periods, we have been contacting all customers with deferred loans to talk with them about their options, including returning to full or part payment, or converting their loans to interest only. Many of those contacted will be able to recommence their repayments. For customers who are facing financial hardship, we are reaching out to offer solutions tailored to their individual needs.”

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Returns as of 6th October 2020

Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Reliance Worldwide Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Reliance Worldwide 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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