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Tuesday 20

November, 201811:13 AM



ASX pulls ahead, led by banks and miners

ASX pulls ahead, led by banks and miners

The Australian share market has pulled ahead, lifted by banks and mining stocks while the RBA announcement had little affect on the Aussie dollar.

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By AAP 06.11.2018 05:01 PM

The Australian share market closed nearly one per cent higher after strong gains from banking, energy and resources stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 57.1 points higher, or 0.98 per cent, at 5875.2 on Tuesday, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 0.91 per cent.

The Australian dollar held firm after the Reserve Bank kept the official cash rate at a record low of 1.5 per cent and governor Philip Lowe said GDP is now expected to grow by 3.5 per cent in 2018 and 2019, up from 3.0 per cent.

The Aussie was buying 72.16 US cents at 1630 AEDT, from 71.93 US cents on Monday.

The Melbourne Cup may be the race that stops the nation but its corresponding partial public holiday combined with the looming US mid-term election made for a light day of trading on the local indices, CommSec market analyst James Tao said.

"A lot of peoples' attention is certainly not on the markets today so the light volume has seen a pick up for the financials and resources," he said.

"There's a bit of a holding pattern here and globally."

Investors are also likely holding out for the US rates decision coming later this week followed by the RBA's statement on monetary policy, Mr Tao told AAP.

Local energy stocks were higher reacting to rising crude oil prices, with Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search, Santos, Soul Pattinson, and Origin, all up between 0.8 per cent and 3.9 per cent.

Major miners BHP, up 1.3 per cent to $33.55, and Rio Tinto, up 2.1 per cent to $81.25, were buoyant for the resources sector, while BlueScope Steel and South 32 both closed more than one per cent higher.

Gold prices edged slightly lower overnight but this had little impact on its mining stocks, with Newcrest Mining, Northern Star, Evolution, St Barbara and OceanaGold all up between one and 2.7 per cent.

The big four banks were stronger with Commonwealth Bank leading the gains, up 1.4 per cent to $68.95, after it, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure and ASX-listed Link Group agreed to buy Property Exchange Australia in a deal that values the online property settlements company at about $1.6 billion.

But Macquarie went the other way, down 0.2 per cent to $121.50.

The supermarkets and other consumer staples climbed 1.3 per cent following figures detailing consumer confidence is on its way back up after a tumble related to the Wentworth by-election.

Biotech company CSL, down 0.3 per cent to $187.01, and sleep apnoea device specialist ResMed, down 0.6 per cent to $14.54, were drags on the health care sector.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 57.1 points higher, or 0.98 per cent, at 5875.2

* The All Ordinaries closed 53.9 points higher, or 0.91 per cent, at 5958.7

* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up 39 points, or 0.67 per cent, at 5849.0 points

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 72.16 US cents, from 71.93 US cents on Monday

* 81.79 Japanese yen, from 81.47

* 63.29 euro cents, from 63.15

* 55.30 British pence, from 55.36

* 108.44 NZ cents, from 108.21

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1229.21 per fine ounce, from $US1232.33 on Monday.

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