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Wednesday 12

December, 201811:47 AM



Broad-based gains led by banks lift ASX

Broad-based gains led by banks lift ASX

The Australian share market has closed higher on Tuesday thanks to financial sector stocks.

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By AAP 27.11.2018 05:16 PM

The Australian share market has closed higher after a positive afternoon of trading, buoyed by the financial sector and supported by commodity-related stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 56.7 points, or one per cent, at 5728.3 on Tuesday, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 0.93 per cent.

The surge in the indices reflects buyers repositioning their investments ahead of the G20 summit later this week where an update on the trade tariffs between the US and China is expected, CMC Markets chief strategist Michael McCarthy said.

"Although expectations at this stage are very low, the risk-reward element, given the way shares have fallen over the course of the month, means that for many investors the lower risk approach to the meeting is to buy back into some shares," he told AAP.

"Either taking back short positions or increasing portfolio exposures over these lower levels."

The banking sector reflected the narrative of the day; they surged at the open, flattened at lunch, and then surged more aggressively after noon and closed more than 1.3 per cent higher.

ANZ was the strongest of the big four lenders, climbing 2.1 per cent to $26.96, and NAB the weakest, rising 1.1 per cent to $24.89.

Energy stocks rose after oil prices recovered overnight, with Santos and Beach Energy both more than two per cent higher, while Caltex and Oil Search rose 1.7 and 0.8 per cent respectively.

The material sector also gained despite lower iron ore prices, with BHP shares gaining 1.5 per cent to $30.87 after announcing it has identified a potential new iron oxide, copper and gold mineralised system near its Olympic Dam operations in South Australia.

Rio Tinto was down 0.6 per cent to $73.60, BlueScope lost 2.9 per cent, and Fortescue Metals was unchanged.

The tech sector was the biggest climber, rising more than three per cent with Afterpay jumping 8.6 per cent to $12.97, Technology One rising 6.8 per cent, while Wisetech and Computershare both rose more than three per cent.

Consumer, health care and telecommunication stocks were all in the black.

In company news, Harvey Norman shares rose nearly three per cent to $3.10 despite its Australian franchisee-operated stores showing slightly lower sales so far this financial year and its shareholders rejecting its remuneration report.

Homewares retailer Temple and Webster climbed nearly half a per cent after announcing it expects to make a first full-year profit this year, saying its focus on online sales should help it withstand the softening housing market.

The Australian dollar was hovering at near one-week lows as markets were nervous before the crucial trade talks between the leaders of the United States and China.

The Aussie was buying 72.34 US cents at 1630 AEDT, down from 72.47 on Monday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 56.7 points, or one per cent, at 5728.3

* The All Ordinaries closed up 53.2 points, or 0.93 per cent, at 5802.8

* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up 56 points, or 0.99 per cent, at 5734

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 72.34 US cents, from 72.47 US cents cents on Monday

* 82.10 Japanese yen, from 82.08

* 63.80 euro cents, from 63.89

* 56.44 British pence, from 56.55

* 106.78 NZ cents, from 106.72

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1222.22 per fine ounce, from $US1225.09 on Monday.

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