ASX loses momentum but still closes up

Derek Rose
(Australian Associated Press)

 

The Australian share market rallied early in the day following strong gains on Wall Street, but then faded throughout the day.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index still managed to close higher, up 26.1 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 6,358.5 points at 1615 AEST on Wednesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 26.9 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 6,443.6.

“A little bit of improvement,” and the market’s second up day in a row after losing ground six of the eight previous trading sessions, CommSec analyst Steven Daghlian said.

There were gains most everywhere, except the traditionally defensive sectors of health care, telecos, utilities and property, as well as gold miners.

Tech stocks were the biggest gainers, collectively up 2.1 per cent, with Afterpay surging 7.1 per cent to $23.90 after announcing that a year after launching in the United States, it had reached 1.5 million US customers and had signed up 3,300 US retailers.

The financial sector was up 1.2 per cent as a whole, with all of the big banks in the green following the Reserve Bank’s decision on Tuesday to cut interest rates.

Westpac share gained 1.4 per cent to $27.62, the Commonwealth Bank jumped 1.2 per cent to $79.39, ANZ was up 0.9 per cent to $28.01 and NAB gained 0.8 per cent to $26.64.

The mining sector was more subdued, up 0.1 per cent, with BHP up 0.6 per cent to $37.54 and Rio Tinto up one per cent to $99.51.

Gold miners were down, with Evolution Mining falling 5.6 per cent to $3.88 and Newcrest down 1.3 per cent to $27.95.

Smaller WA producer Dacian Gold plummeted 67.5 per cent to 51.5 cents after the company announced its production at its Mount Morgans gold mine would be significantly less than forecast.

The company said it had started a strategic review that could culminate in a sale of the company or a merger.

The telecommunications sector was down 0.7 per cent, dragged down by Vocus, which fell 17.7 per cent to $3.77.

The owner of the iPrimus, Dodo and Commander internet brands said Swedish private equity firm EQT Infrastructure had walked away from its $5.25-a-share takeover offer after a period of due diligence.

Wall Street finished higher after the US central bank raised the possibility of a cut in interest rates, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 2.06 per cent, the S&P 500 was up 2.14 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 2.65 per cent.

Australian GDP grew by 0.4 per cent in the March quarter and by 1.8 per cent over the last 12 months, according to ABS figures released on Wednesday.

The Aussie dollar continued its gains since the rate cut, buying 69.98 US cents, from 69.79 US cents on Tuesday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 26.1 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 6,358.5 points at 1630 AEST on Tuesday.

* The All Ordinaries was up 26.9 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 6,443.6.

* At 1630 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was flat at 6,362.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 69.98 US cents, from 69.79 US cents on Tuesday

* 75.66 Japanese yen, from 75.32 yen

* 62.16 euro cents, from 61.97 cents

* 55.07 British pence, from 55.06 pence

* 105.38 NZ cents, from 105.87 cents

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