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ASX 200 unmoved, Flight Centre soars, Afterpay keeps falling

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) was flat, but the ASX travel sector got a big boost of more government support for airlines.
The post ASX 200 unmoved, Flight Centre soars, Afterpay keeps falling appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was essentially flat today, it fell a tiny bit to 6,714 points.

One of the main pieces of news today was the government’s announced a plan to continue to help the airline sector, whilst also indirectly boosting other parts of the country and economy.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX today:

Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) and other ASX travel shares

The Flight Centre share price has gone up more than 10% today as the market reacted to the news that the travel industry was going to get more government support.

As reported by the ABC and all other major media, the government is going to support low airline tickets. There will be approximately 800,000 half-price airline tickets in a package worth more than $1 billion.

The idea is to help destinations that are losing out due to the lack of international travellers.

Some of the places that will benefit from cheaper tickets include the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and the Mackay region, Alice Springs and Uluru, Launceston and Broome.

The discounts will be based on the average air fare based on February 2021 prices and the airlines have said they won’t put up prices.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said:

I’ve had long discussions with both Alan Joyce and Jane Hrdlicka from Qantas and Virgin respectively, they’re not going to do that. Of course the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has been monitoring air prices right throughout the pandemic and making sure that it is as what it should be.

However, the catch for the states is that border closures should be kept open apart from a last resort.

Plenty of other ASX 200 travel shares went up – the Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price grew 2%, the Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) share price rose 2%, the Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price climbed 3% and the Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) share price grew 3.3%.

The smaller listed travel agent business called Helloworld Travel Ltd (ASX: HLO) also benefited, with the share price climbing by around 4%.

Vitalharvest Freehold Trust (ASX: VTH)

The Vitalharvest share price grew by another 2% as the business benefited from an increased takeover offer.

It announced today that Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management Limited – as trustee of Macquarie Agricultural Fund – Crop Australia 2 (MAFM) – has agreed to buy all of the issued units of Vitalharvest Freehold Trust for $1.08 per unit.

MAFM has also agreed to extend the waiver it granted previously to permit the payment of a distribution to unitholders of 2.5 cents per Vitalharvest unit from rent received for the half year ended 31 December 2020, subject to certain conditions.

The board recommended that unitholders vote in favour of this deal because it’s likely to provide an equivalent or superior outcome for Vitalharvest unitholders compared to the Roc Private Equity offer. However, it’s still possible that an alternative superior proposal could come about.

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price sold down further

The Afterpay share price was one of the worst performers in the ASX 200. It dropped by over 5% today as it continued its decline.

Over the last month the Afterpay share price has fallen by almost 30%.

Other buy now, pay later businesses also dropped today including the Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL) share price which fell 1.8%, the Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) share price which dropped 0.4% and the Splitit Ltd (ASX: SPT) share price which fell 1.5%. The Ioupay Ltd (ASX: IOU) share price fell 8.6%.

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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 ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Sezzle Inc. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited and Webjet Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sezzle Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post ASX 200 unmoved, Flight Centre soars, Afterpay keeps falling appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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