ASX 200 rises on Thursday

The S&P/ASX 200 Index went up by around 0.4% today. Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) released a trading update for November 2020.
The post ASX 200 rises on Thursday appeared first on Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) went up by 0.4% today to 6,615 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:

Serko Ltd (ASX: SKO) 

Serko is travel management software business.

Today, the company announced it intends to provide periodic updates to assist the market to assess changes to the environment it operates in.

Serko said it has seen a gradual improvement in transaction booking volumes after the easing of domestic travel restrictions within Australia over the past couple of weeks.

Transaction volumes increased to 44% of prior year volumes for the month of November. This was an improvement from 35% of prior year volumes for the month of October. Serko revealed that the past week has seen some daily transaction rates around 50% of prior year volumes.

New Zealand domestic travel increased to 85% of prior year volumes for the month of November, which was an increase from 76% of prior year volumes for the month of October. Australian domestic travel increased to 33% of prior year volumes for the month of November, up from 26% of prior year volumes for October.

The ASX share said it was pleased to see Australian travel bookings start to recover with the current easing of domestic travel restrictions.

The travel company also confirmed that new customers in select global (predominately English-speaking) markets are now being directed to the new for business platform powered by Zeno.

The Serko share price went up around 3% today.

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)

ASX 200 buy now, pay later giant Afterpay revealed its growth statistics for November 2020.

The company boasted of exceeding $2 billion in global sales in a month in November. It said that global underlying sales increased by 112% to $2.1 billion.

Australia and New Zealand underlying sales increased by 54% to $0.9 billion. United States underlying sales grew by 186% to $1 billion. UK underlying sales rose by 315% to $0.2 billion.

Afterpay said that referrals to global retailers continued to grow strongly with over 35 million leads generated during the month, which was 147% higher than November 2019.

This was the first time that monthly underlying sales in the US were higher than Australia and New Zealand. Afterpay said this contribution reflected its fastest-growing and largest region.

Afterpay is now available in-store after being integrated across thousands of stores nationally. There is a “strong pipeline of new merchants preparing to launch soon”.

The BNPL company said that with a number of significant retailers launching on the platform since 30 September 2020, active customers in the US increased by around 1 million. The total number of customers that have signed up to Afterpay in the US now exceeds 13 million.

The Afterpay share price fell around 2% in response to the update.

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)

The ASX 200 global investment bank announced today that it’s going to acquire Waddell & Reed Financial which is a US-listed asset wealth manager for US$1.7 billion.

The business has two divisions. It has an asset management business with approximately US$68 billion in assets under management (AUM). It also has a wealth management business with approximately US$63 billion of assets under administration (AUA).

On completion, Macquarie will sell the Waddle & Reed Financial Services wealth management business to LPL Financial for US$300 million plus excess net assets.

The increased scale and diversification of the combined platform will, according to Macquarie, create significant long-term benefits for clients, advisors and shareholders.

This deal is expected to close by the middle of 2021.

The Macquarie share price went up by about 0.2% today.

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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 Serko Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Serko Ltd. 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.

The post ASX 200 rises on Thursday appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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