Sixth straight day of gains for ‘hot’ ASX

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The Australian share market has posted gains for a sixth consecutive day, setting another 11-year high.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 10.6 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 6,510.7 points at 1615 AEST on Wednesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 13.7 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 6,598.1.

Pepperstone head of research Chris Weston says the market is looking “pretty hot” at the moment.

“This is blue sky territory. The bulls are in full control here, you don’t need to be a technician to understand who’s the dominant party,” he said.

With the financial sector flat and Fortescue Metals trading ex-dividend, it was the energy and consumer discretionary sectors’ turn to keep the momentum going.

Energy shares were up 0.67 per cent, with Woodside Petroleum gaining one per cent to $37.40.

Coal miner New Hope was up 4.9 per cent to $2.78, Whitehaven was up 2.6 per cent to $4.30 and investment company W.H. Soul Pattinson, which has exposure to the coal industry, was up 2.1 per cent to $23.20.

Consumer discretionary shares were up 0.76 per cent, with Wesfarmers gaining 1.3 per cent to $37.12.

Among miners, BHP gained 0.3 per cent to $38.07 while ex-dividend Fortescue was down 1.5 per cent to $8.27.

Construction companies posted gains after an ABS report showed construction work reaching record high levels in NSW, South Australia and Tasmania in the 12 months to March.

Boral, James Hardie, Adelaide Brighton, Brickworks, Fletcher Building and CSR were up between 2.1 and 5.4 per cent.

The financial sector was flat after Australia’s prudential regulator warned financial institutions should expect “increased supervisory scrutiny” after finding that their self-assessment procedures, surrounding risks such as culture and accountability, were not up to scratch.

The big four banks were mixed, with Westpac up 1.1 per cent to $28.81 while Commonwealth Bank rose three cents to $79.

NAB meanwhile fell 0.2 per cent to $26.15 and ANZ was down 0.2 per cent to $28.38.

Bank of Queensland shares were down 0.11 per cent to $9.18 after the regional lender’s chairman said it hadn’t performed as well as hoped.

Lynas Corp was up 7.1 per cent to $2.43, after shares in the rare earths miner resumed trading after it clarified some of the ore reserve figures in its investor day presentation.

The Australian Agricultural Company was up 2.24 per cent to $1.14 after chief executive Hugh Killen said the loss of 43,000 cattle to flooding in Queensland in February wouldn’t affect its ability to meet supply obligations or the rollout of its premium branded beef strategy. 

Healthscope shares could be delisted as soon as Friday after shareholders overwhelmingly approved the private hospital operator’s $4.4 billion acquisition by Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management.

The Aussie dollar is buying 68.79 US cents, unchanged from Tuesday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 10.6 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 6,510.7 points at 1630 AEST on Wednesday.

* The All Ordinaries was up 13.7 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 6,598.1.

* At 1630 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up 19 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 6,514.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 68.79 US cents, flat from Tuesday

* 75.97 Japanese yen, from 75.80 yen

* 61.67 euro cents, from 61.70 euro cents

* 54.23 British pence, from 54.13 pence

* 105.87 NZ cents, from 105.57 cents

Source