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Australian share market makes gains

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Published on: Monday, September 11, 2017

The Australian share market has closed higher as investors took some comfort from North Korea refraining from any more provocative missile launches over the weekend.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 40.5 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 5,713.1 points, with all sectors except for mining and gold making gains.

Investors were cautious at the end of last week as speculation mounted that North Korea might test launch a ballistic missile to celebrate the anniversary of the country’s foundation over the weekend.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said it was a good day for share markets across the Asia-Pacific region, with Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong making gains.

“Investors are piling back into the market, we’re seeing an easing of volatility indices,” Mr McCarthy said.

“The anticipated missile launch that didn’t occur has now got investors keener to take on some risks.”

The big four banks – Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ – lifted between 1.4 and 2.2 per cent, led by ANZ.

Investment bank Macquarie Group rose $2.45, or 3.0 per cent, to $85.15 after flagging an improved first-half result due to stronger performance fees.

Energy stocks were mixed, after global oil prices dropped on Friday due to concerns Hurricane Irma would reduce oil demand in the US in the short term.

Woodside Petroleum was down 0.1 per cent at $28.85, and Santos lifted 2.6 per cent to $3.95.

In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton dipped 1.8 per cent to $26.80, Rio Tinto slipped 1.42 per cent to $67.53, and Fortescue Metals backtracked 0.7 per cent to $5.81, after base metal prices tumbled between three to five per cent.

Among other stocks, gaming firm Tabcorp climbed 11 cents, or 2.7 per cent, to $4.16 after independent expert Grant Samuel confirmed Tatts shareholders are getting a fair deal in the proposed $11 billion merger of the two gaming groups, moving it one step closer.

Tatts was four cents, or 1.0 per cent, higher at $3.95.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has eased after commodities markets reversed but is still above the 80 US cents level against a weaker US dollar.

The Aussie was trading at 80.37 US cents at 1700 AEST, from 81.00 US cents on Friday

ON THE ASX:

* At 1630 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 40.5 points or 0.71 per cent, at 5,713.1 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 35.7 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 5,775.1 points.

* The September SPI200 futures contract was up 36 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 5,705 points.

* National turnover was 1.8 billion securities traded worth $3.9 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 80.37 US cents, from 81.00 on Friday

* 87.229 Japanese yen, from 87.23 yen

* 66.94 euro cents, from 67.15 euro cents

* 60.94 British pence, from 61.69 pence

* 110.83 NZ cents, from 110.74 cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,335.50 per fine ounce, from $US1,354.57 per fine ounce on Friday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.9029pct, from 1.9014pct

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.5543pct, from 2.5304 pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* September 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.397 (implying a yield of 2.603pct), from 97.425 (implying a yield of 2.575pct) on Friday

* September 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.01 (1.99pct), from 98.02 (1.98pct).

(* Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)


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