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ASX Bounces Back As Retailers Take Action

The ASX 200 is up 2.63% today, as a number of Australian retailers post positive sales results and strong action plans despite, or perhaps driven by, the COVID-19 crisis.

Wesfarmers, for example, said in its investors statement published on the ASX this morning that Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks saw strong growth in sales as consumers responded to and prepared for COVID-19.

“This has seen significant demand for essential cleaning and hygiene products, home office equipment and technology, and education supplies. The diversity and essential nature of many products and services provided by Bunnings, Officeworks and Kmart remain important to customers in a range of economic scenarios,” said Wesfarmers.

Looking ahead, the group believes that it will be able to continue to supply this increased demand, saying that 90% of the group’s supplier factories are operational and returning to full capacity, even though “there is low availability in certain product categories, due to very high demand”.

As of 11.30am today, Wesfarmers was up 2.59% on the ASX today, hitting $35.83.

This morning Australia’s largest telecoms company Telstra announced that it will pause its job cuts for now, and will instead hire 1000 temporary staff. It also stated it will accelerate its 5G rollout plan and bring forward the required $500 million in capital spending to this year.

Andrew Penn, CEO of Telstra, said in a statement, “We are looking at every aspect of our business to see what we can do for our employees, customers, suppliers and the economy more broadly, while we maintain a focus on long-term value creation.”

Telstra bounced back slightly on the ASX today, registering growth of 0.3% as of 11.30am.

Other retailers are also showing modest signs of recovery today: JB Hi-Fi is up 1.92%, The Reject Shop increased by 2.26% (which posted notable growth earlier this week), Harvey Norman rose by 1.08% (following the company publishing its strong domestic sales growth yesterday) and Myer jumped by an impressive 17.9% today.


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