Gains by the major banks, miners and energy companies have pushed the share market’s benchmark index past 6,000 points for second time this month.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index gained 26.8 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 6,011.1 points, as the banking and mining heavyweights took advantage of positive offshore data and a swing in sentiment on the local market.
Citi director of equities sales Karen Jorritsma said trading volumes have lifted after a sluggish start to the week, as consumer confidence hit 17 year highs in the US and manufacturing data out of Germany and the UK improved.
“Globally, equities are in a bull market,” she said.
“It’s synchronised and continues to inspire investment in equities and is supportive of the local markets.”
The four big banks made solid gains from the opening bell, and ended the day with gains of between 0.5 per cent and 0.8 per cent.
Despite a dip in the price of iron ore, miners also gained ground, with BHP Billiton adding one per cent, Rio Tinto edging 0.2 per cent higher and Fortescue Metals rose 1.3 per cent.
Origin Energy added 2.7 per cent, which follows a gain of three per cent on Tuesday when it reaffirmed its full year earnings guidance.
Collins Foods dropped 30 cents, or 4.8 per cent, to $5.94 after the operator of KFC and Sizzler restaurants reported a 17.5 per cent fall in half year profit, due to the costs of closing its Snag Stand stores and buying more KFC outlets.
SEEK shares fell 70 cents, or 3.6 per cent, to $18.70 despite upgrading its earnings growth forecast for the current financial year.
The Australian dollar is back below 76 US cents as the US dollar rose due to improved consumer confidence data and comments from US Federal Reserve Chair nominee Jerome Powell that supported expectations of a rate rise in December.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index was up 26.8 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 6,011.1 points.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 29.4 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 6,096.1 points.
* The SPI200 futures contract was up 30 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 6,019 points.
* National turnover was 4.2 billion securities traded worth $6.6 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 75.88 US cents, from 76.13 US cents on Tuesday
* 84.66 Japanese yen, from 84.65 yen
* 64.03 euro cents, from 63.96 euro cents
* 56.78 British pence, from 57.11 pence
* 110.05 NZ cents, from 109.67 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,295.05 per fine ounce, from $US1,294.40 per fine ounce on Tuesday
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.7831pct, from 1.8032pct on Tuesday
* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.4287pct, from 2.4542pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.515 (implying a yield of 2.485pct), from 97.49 (2.51pct) on Tuesday
* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.11 (1.89pct), from 98.09 (1.91pct).
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)