Aussie shares are lifting for a second straight day, with the ASX 200 index up 0.7 per cent thanks to gains in most sectors at lunch. Today’s improvements mean local equities are in positive territory for the week so far. This follows US stocks edging higher last night which have improved for 15 straight months (the longest winning streak in history).
Last night the Federal Reserve kept interest rates on hold as expected but said it expects inflation to trend higher over the year. A bigger lift in private sector job than expected in January was well received by the market while Microsoft and Boeing both beat forecasts with their quarterly earnings overnight.
Telcos are the only losers today with profit taking pushing Telstra (TLS) lower (rose by 2 per cent on Wednesday). The banks together with mining and energy stocks are standouts today.
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is up 2.3 per cent. The owner of Penfolds has received a number of broker upgrades a day after beating its profit expectations for the first half by almost 10 per cent.
Xero (XRO) is lifting 2.5 per cent on media reports the accounting software company has signed a deal with National Bank allowing payments to be made from within its platform.
Godfrey’s (GFY) – which sells vacuum cleaners – is down 14 per cent after saying trade over Christmas was worse than expected. Like-for-like sales (not including newly opened stores) fell by 6.2 per cent over the six months to December. GFY also warned that due to writedowns it is on track to lose ~$59m for the full year.
Virgin Australia (VAH) is down 3 per cent a day after making Board changes. A few brokers have cut their price expectations for the airline’s shares over the next 12 months.
Home prices fell 0.3 per cent in January led lower by Sydney, where prices have fallen 0.9 per cent. Prices in Melbourne eased 0.2 per cent while Hobart was the best improver, up 0.1 per cent. An update on China’s private sector manufacturing sector will be out at 12.45pm AEDT.
1.6bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $2.3bn. 677 stocks are up, 399 down and 364 are down.
Originally published by CommSec