The Bull

Thursday 14

December, 2017 3:03 PM



Share market continues to tread water

Share market continues to tread water

The Australian share market is steady after a quiet day of trade, with little movement among the major mining companies and banks.

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By AAP 10.10.2017 05:21 PM

The Australian share market is steady after a quiet session, as the energy sector weakened and AMP and poker machine maker Aristocrat Leisure were among the best performers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 dropped 1.2 points to 5,738.1 points, continuing a two-month run of moving within a narrow range near 5,700 points.

Macquarie Bank division director Martin Lakos said the local market remains impervious to record highs being achieved on Wall Street.

"It's extraordinarily quiet, I've never seen a consolidation like this," Mr Lakos said.

On a mixed day for financial stocks, AMP shares gained 17 cents, or 3.6 per cent, to $4.96 on the back of an upgrade by Credit Suisse analysts who lifted the stock to 'outperform.'

Among the four major banks, ANZ and Westpac were modestly stronger and National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank were slightly lower.

Shares in Aristocrat Leisure gained 2.8 per cent to $22.08, lifting the consumer discretionary sector to an overall gain on 0.7 per cent.

While iron ore prices continue to drag on the big miners, both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto gained ground in afternoon trade to end the session slightly higher.

Gold miners posted stronger gains, with Newcrest Mining adding one per cent to $21.99 and Evolution Mining 1.8 per cent higher at $2.28.

In the energy sector, Oil Search dropped 1.8 per cent to $7.08 and Woodside Petroleum fell 0.6 per cent to $28.69

Mr Lakos said mixed economic data and differing financial results for local companies has been undermining investor confidence.

"You've got all these dichotomies in the market place that are pushing and pulling the market to the point of inaction, so it's doing nothing but going sideways," he said.

The Australian dollar gained ground after a boost from the latest National Australia Bank business survey, which showed upbeat business conditions for September.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 dropped 1.2 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 5,738.1 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index gained two points, or 0.03 per cent, to 5,807.1 points.

* The SPI200 futures contract was down one point, or 0.02 per cent, at 5,718 points.

* National turnover was 3.2 billion securities traded worth $5 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 77.86 US cents, from 77.67 US cents on Monday

* 87.73 Japanese yen, from 87.45 yen

* 66.15 euro cents, from 66.18 euro cents

* 59.13 British pence, from 59.28 pence

* 110.17 NZ cents, from 109.73 NZ cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,286.62 per fine ounce, up from $US1,284.86 per fine ounce on Monday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.01pct, from 1.9938pct on Monday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.779pct, from 2.7705pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.14 (implying a yield of 2.86pct) from 97.15 (2.85pct) on Monday

* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.84 (2.16pct) from 97.86 (2.14pct).

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

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