(Australian Associated Press)
The Australian share market notched a fourth straight session of gains, driven by strength in the energy, mining and retail sectors.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 0.3 per cent to 5,861.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries added 0.4 per cent to 5,956.3 points.
Gains by oil and gas producers, miners and retailers offset falls in the financial, healthcare and telecommunications sectors.
While Wednesday’s gains were modest, the market closed near its highs for the daym marking a significant shift in investor behaviour, CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said.
In recent days, the share market has posted early gains before losing momentum later in the session.
“Today’s gains are high quality gains because they appear to be longer term investment in the market rather than short term anticipation of higher prices,” Mr McCarthy said.
Investor confidence had improved as fears of a US-China trade dispute eased, along with US tensions with Russia in Syria.
“Investors have discounted the potential for a trade disruption or a geopolitical disruption and that has fuelled a general risk-on mood,” Mr McCarthy said.
A rise in oil and iron ore prices helped lift the miners and oil and gas producers.
Oil Search gained 16 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to $7.70, Origin Energy added 14 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $9.49 and Woodside Petroleum rose 33 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $30.72 after reporting a lift in first-quarter production and sales revenue.
BHP Billiton gained 14 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $30.07, Fortescue Metals added four cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $4.55, while Rio Tinto lifted 87 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $78.96 after its first quarter iron ore production rose eight per cent from a year ago.
The best performing retailers included Harvey Norman, which gained nine cents, or 2.7 per cent, to $3.44, Kathmandu added 10 cents, or 4.4 per cent, to $2.37, and JB Hi-Fi was 57 cents stronger, up 2.3 per cent, at $25.94.
Wealth manager AMP fell 10 cents, or 2.2 per cent, to $4.45, continuing its decline since admitting to the financial services royal commission that it had lied to or misled the corporate regulator about its business practices.
All four major banks also lost ground, with Commonwealth Bank the worst performer, down 35 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $72.41.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 19.9 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 5,861.4 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 22 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 5,956.3 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was up up 20 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 5,838 points
* National turnover was 3.3 billion securities traded worth $4.9 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 77.59 US cents, from 77.85 US cents on Tuesday
* 83.24 Japanese yen, from 83.22 yen
* 62.76 euro cents, from 62.78 euro cents
* 54.28 British pence, from 54.19 pence
* 105.97 NZ cents, from 105.61 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,345.18 per fine ounce, from $US1,348.19 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.1155pct, from 2.118pct on Tuesday
* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.7187pct, from 2.7321pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was 97.24 (implying a yield of 2.76pct), from 97.225 (2.775pct) on Tuesday
* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was 97.74 (2.26pct), from 97.735 (2.265pct)
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)