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Saturday 25

November, 2017 1:09 PM



Shares end higher, primed by energy sector

Shares end higher, primed by energy sector

The Australian share market gained momentum and closed higher on Monday after the energy sector buoyed investor confidence.

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By AAP 30.10.2017 05:18 PM

The share market has closed higher on a day of broad-based gains led by energy companies, banks and industrial stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lifted 0.27 per cent to 5,919.1 points at 1630 AEDT.

Positive leads from the US also helped produced a strong showing, Citi director of equities sales Karen Jorritsma said.

"There is a growing upbeat macroeconomic sentiment making itself felt, the US dollar earners are doing well here, and investors feel better about the chances of (US President Donald) Trump's tax reform materialising," Ms Jorritsma said.

Of the 257 top-500 companies to report in the current quarterly US earnings season, 200 have delivered positive surprises, Ms Jorritsma said.

"And that is being seen very encouragingly here."

But it was the local energy sector, led by Santos, that outperformed on Monday, with overnight global oil prices up two per cent.

Santos lifted 3.7 per cent to $4.51 as Brent crude futures hit their highest levels since July 2015, more than 35 per cent beyond the bottom struck in June this year.

Woodside Petroleum was up 1.3 per cent to $30.24, and Origin Energy also lifted 1.7 per cent to $7.98.

Three of the big four banks were higher, but it was Macquarie Group again that led the sector, following up from Friday's better-than-expected results and the announcement of an up to $1 billion share buyback.

Macquarie shares were 93 cents, or 0.95 per cent higher, at $98.84 and Citi analysts now expect the bank to push through the $100 share price mark in the short-term.

The major iron ore miners were largely steady after a previously volatile week of trading with BHP Billiton up 0.2 per cent at $26.63 and Rio Tinto steady at $69.98.

Reliance Worldwide Corporation was 0.8 per cent higher, at $3.69, after the plumbing product producer told investors at its AGM that higher copper prices could hit retail pricing but it remains on track to achieve full-year earnings guidance between $145 million and $150 million.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is higher against its US counterpart after first falling steadily in response to a strengthening greenback, but then rallying on US media speculation that the less-hawkish Jerome Powell is the new front-runner to take over the at the US Federal Reserve bank.

The local currency was trading at 76.74 US cents at 1700 AEDT on Monday, up from 76.45 US cents on Friday.

ON THE ASX AT THE CLOSE:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 15.9 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 5,919.1

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 14.4 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 5,983.7 points.

* The SPI200 futures contract was up 13 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 5,900 points

* National turnover was 4.4 billion securities traded worth $5.5 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 76.74 US cents, from 76.45 on Friday

* 87.21 Japanese yen, from 87.25 yen

* 66.07 euro cents, from 65.66 euro cents

* 58.39 British pence, from 58.20 pence

* 112.14 NZ cents, from 111.64 cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,270.72 per fine ounce, from $US1,267.27 per fine ounce on Friday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.9184pct, from 1.9466pct

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6807pct, after 2.7263pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.245 (implying a yield of 2.745pct), from 97.20 (implying a yield of 2.80pc) on Friday

* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.96 (2.04pct), from 97.92 (2.08pct).

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

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