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Share market surges on Wall Street’s lead

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Published on: Thursday, August 31, 2017

Widespread gains led by miners, banks and healthcare giants have driven the share market to its best daily gain in almost three weeks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 0.79 per cent at 5,714.5 points at the close, with the energy sector the only to lose ground.

A positive lead from Wall Street, which rose on better-than-expected economic growth data, was behind the broad gains on the local market, optionsXpress market analyst Ben Le Brun said.

“Everyone is waiting for more news out of North Korea but until then, we’ve had a relief rally today following a good lead from Wall Street,” he said.

“All sectors of the market are up with the exception of the energy sector due to a pullback in oil prices and the little bit of strength in the US dollar overnight.”

BHP Billiton gained 1.6 per cent to $27.38, Rio Tinto rose 1.7 per cent to $67.84 and Fortescue Metals jumped 2.4 per cent to $6.01.

ANZ was the strongest of the big four banks, gaining 1.2 per cent to $29.40, while Commonwealth Bank added 0.6 per cent to $75.80, National Australia Bank rose 0.5 per cent to $30.20 and Westpac was 0.4 per cent higher at $31.27.

The healthcare sector also performed strongly, led by heavyweight CSL, which rose 1.3 per cent to $128.52.

The energy sector was hurt by a fall in global crude oil prices after the closure of nearly a quarter of US refinery capacity due to Hurricane Harvey, which reduced demand for oil.

Oil Search fell two per cent to $6.71, Woodside Petroleum declined 1.6 per cent to $28.83 and Santos recovered during afternoon trade to close 0.3 per cent lower at $3.76.

Harvey Norman dropped 6.9 per cent to $41.05 after it cut its final dividend despite making a record annual profit.

The Australian dollar is trading at 79 US cents, down from 79.66 US cents on Wednesday, after the US dollar rallied overnight on data that showed its economy grew at an annual pace of three per cent in the June quarter, up from the 2.6 per cent preliminary estimate.

Positive Chinese manufacturing data helped lift the Australian dollar on Thursday but that was partly outweighed by a negative reaction to domestic capital expenditure data.

ON THE ASX:

* At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up up 44.8 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 5,714.5 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 42.5 points, or 0.74 per cent, at 5,776.3 points.

* The September SPI200 futures contract was up 40 points, or 0.71 per cent, at 5,690 points.

* National turnover was 3.4 billion securities traded worth $7.4 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 79.01 US cents, from 79.66 US cents on Wednesday

* 87.31 Japanese yen, from 87.68 yen

* 66.44 euro cents, from 66.63 euro cents

* 61.18 British pence, from 61.70 pence

* 110.29 NZ cents, from 109.86 NZ cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,303.95 per fine ounce, down from $US1,307.68 per fine ounce on Wednesday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.9494pct, from 1.9365pct on Wednesday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6608pct, from 2.6281pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* September 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.29 (implying a yield of 2.71pct), from 97.325 (2.675pct) on Wednesday

* September 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.97 (2.03pct), from 97.98 (2.02pct).

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


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