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CBA’s record profit boosts share market

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Published on: Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The Australian share market has gained ground as Commonwealth Bank’s record annual profit was well received, and the Australian dollar fell sharply amid political tension and a weaker iron ore price.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.4 per cent to 5,765.7 points, as the heavyweight banking and mining sectors gained ground.

CBA shares gained 46 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $81.11 as it reported a five per cent increase in annual cash profit to $9.9 billion.

Its three main rivals all posted slightly stronger gains.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said Wednesday’s gains came despite falls on Asian markets due to increasing tension between the US and North Korea.

North Korea said it is considering plans for a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam, hours after US President Donald Trump warned any threat to the US would be met with “fire and fury”.

“For Australia, we’ve been helped by the CBA result, which was a relief,” Mr Spooner said.

“It was broadly in line with expectations but against the background of weaker markets in recent times.

“That has has been enough to see some support for the banking sector.”

He said the share market also benefited from the Australian dollar’s fall, which came as currency traders moved towards safe-haven assets like the Japanese yen, and due to an easing iron ore price.

The local currency dropped to a three-week low of 78.55 US cents, though recovered some ground in afternoon trade.

Miners were an area of strength on the share market, with BHP adding 0.4 per cent to $26.21 and Rio Tinto climbing 0.6 per cent to $66.42.

Gold stocks lifted as investors sought safe-haven assets such as gold, with Newcrest Mining up 1.4 per cent to $20.62.

Infant formula maker Bellamy’s Australia surged 32 cents, or 4.1 per cent, to $8.20 after Chinese authorities lifted a suspension on the company’s Camperdown canning facility.

ON THE ASX:

* At 1630 AEST the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 21.9 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 5,765.7 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 20.7 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 5,816.4 points.

* The September SPI200 futures contract was up 20 points, or 0.35 per cent, at 5,698 points.

* National turnover was 2.6 billion securities traded worth $5.1 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.87 US cents, from 79.16 US cents on Tuesday

* 86.77 Japanese yen, from 87.56 yen

* 67.14 euro cents, from 67.06 euro cents

* 60.63 British pence, from 60.73 pence

* 107.71 NZ cents, from 107.62 NZ cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,266.71 per fine ounce, up from $US1,259.79 per fine ounce on Tuesday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.8717pct, from 1.851pct on Tuesday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.588pct, from 2.5737pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* September 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.36 (implying a yield of 2.64pct), from 97.375 (2.625pct) on Tuesday

* September 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.04 (1.96pct), from 98.06 (1.94pct).

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session, currency levels taken at 1700 AEST previous local session)


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