The Bull

Tuesday 11

December, 2018 4:41 PM



Banking, energy stocks lift Aust market

Banking, energy stocks lift Aust market

The Australian share market has reversed early losses, buoyed by energy and banking stocks.

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By AAP 23.11.2018 05:02 PM

The Thanksgiving holiday in the US led to a stagnant day of trading on the Australian share market, where banking and energy stocks recouped value and lifted the indices higher.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 24.9 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 5716.2 at 1615 AEDT on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 0.40 per cent.

Oil prices were lower and banking executives were grilled again at the royal commission but the correlating sectors were buoyant, which Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee said might suggest a mini bounce for battered energy and financial stocks.

"But given the low volumes today, it's very hard to read too much into it," she told AAP.

"Especially given that we'll see the G20 (summit) next week and those crucial talks between the US and China, which might impact on the sentiment that's driving the markets at the moment."

Santos and Beach Energy were down 0.4 and 1.6 per cent respectively, while Woodside, Oil Search, Origin and Caltex were up between 0.4 and 1.4 per cent.

ANZ was again the strongest of the big four lenders, surging 2.3 per cent higher to $26.34, which Ms Lee said reflects the bank having less exposure to mortgage lending and a more stabile capital ratio.

NAB, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank gained between one and 1.4 per cent.

Another dip in iron ore prices dragged the mining sector slightly lower at the close, with BHP losing 0.7 per cent to $31.55, and Rio Tinto, down 0.3 per cent to $76.78.

BlueScope was buoyant, however, climbing 3.8 per cent to $12.60 after reporting strong domestic sales volumes at its annual general meeting.

Health care was a drag, weighed down by sector benchmark CSL, which lost 1.4 per cent to $182.32, while ResMed and Fisher and Paykel both gained.

Kathmandu stocks were up by nearly 13 per cent to $2.62 after the adventure retailer reported a 6.3 per cent rise in same store sales at the start of its financial year.

Meanwhile, Brickworks shares dipped 1.4 per cent following the announcement of the $151 million purchase of American brickmaker, Glen-Gery.

The Australian dollar eased and is headed for its worst weekly performance since early October as a global sell-off in equities took the shine off risk assets.

The Aussie was buying 72.49 US cents compared to 72.52 US cents on Thursday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 24.9 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 5716.2

* The All Ordinaries closed up 23.1 points, or 0.40 per cent, at 5793.4

* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up six points, or 0.11 per cent, at 5702.0

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 72.49 US cents, from 72.52 US cents cents on Thursday

* 81.82 Japanese yen, from 81.94

* 63.50 euro cents, from 63.62

* 56.28 British pence, from 56.72

* 106.42 NZ cents, from 106.51

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1,228.07 per fine ounce, up from $US1,227.12 on Thursday.

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