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Miners fuel modest share market rise

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Published on: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The share market has closed higher as gains by miners outweighed falls from two major banks that were sold off as they traded ex-dividend.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 gained 0.2 per cent, with falls by National Australia Bank and Macquarie Group offsetting gains posted across most sectors of the market.

NAB dropped by $1.14, or 3.5 per cent, as it traded without entitlement to its 99 cents per share interim dividend, while Macquarie dropped $1.91, or 2.1 per cent, as it traded without its $2.80 per share final dividend.

Commonwealth Bank and ANZ each gained 0.45 per cent and Westpac was 0.3 per cent stronger.

"The best performing sector is the materials after rallies in industrial and precious metals and energy overnight," CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said.

BHP Billiton gained 0.8 per cent, Rio Tinto added 1.4 per cent and Fortescue Metals was 2.3 per cent stronger.

The energy sector rose in early trade but lost most of those gains by the close, with Oil Search up 0.7 per cent, Woodside Petroleum up 0.15 per cent Santos down 0.3 per cent.

Among the best performers was Fairfax Media following TPG Capital and Canada's Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board's latest bid for the media group.

Fairfax shares gained 3.1 per cent to $1.175, their highest level in six years.

Qantas continued to rally after Moody's on Monday upgraded the company's credit rating, adding 2.9 per cent to $4.92.

The Australian dollar got a small boost from the release of minutes from the Reserve Bank board's May meeting, but that was quickly erased to leave the currency relatively steady from Monday, at 74.27 US cents at 1630 AEST.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 12.1 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 5,850.5 points

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 13.8 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 5,882.2 points.

* The June SPI200 futures contract was up 31 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 5,849 points.

* National turnover was 2.16 billion securities traded worth $6.9 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 74.24 US cents, from 74.24 US cents on Monday

* 84.09 Japanese yen, from 84.35 yen

* 67.41 euro cents, from 67.88 euro cents

* 57.44 British pence, from 57.46 pence

* 107.64 New Zealand cents, from 107.75 NZ cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,235.21 per fine ounce, up $US3.71 from $US1,231.50 on Monday

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.773pct, from 1.775pct on Monday.

* CGS 4.75 per cent April 2027, 2.582pct, from 2.586pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.18 (implying a yield of 1.82pct), unchanged from Monday

* June 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.385 (2.615pct), unchanged.

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session)


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