A fourth straight day of gains has taken the Australian share market to its highest level in two months.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 gained 0.6 per cent to 6,050.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 0.6 per cent at 6,136.7 points.
Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee said the share market’s recent good run continued on Wednesday due to the Australian dollar’s fall, a rally in growth stocks and gains by the banks.
“Over in the US we did see Apple impress the market and that has helped our information technology stocks, and while they are a small part of the market, it has fed into the market’s confidence in growth stocks and you can see that in A2Milk and Bellamy’s,” Ms Lee said.
“The banks are also firing up with bank earnings season, and the weaker Australian currency is boosting companies like QBE and the healthcare companies that make their income offshore.”
Software maker Xero gained 3.4 per cent to $39.50, A2Milk rose 3.8 per cent to $11.70 and baby formula supplier Bellamy’s Australia was 0.8 per cent higher at $18.59.
Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank were the best of the big four with gains of 0.4 per cent, while Westpac added 0.3 per cent and ANZ was 0.2 per cent stronger.
NAB reports its half year financial results on Thursday.
QBE added 2.7 per cent to $10.17, CSL gained 0.5 per cent to $169.71 and Cohlear was 0.6 per cent higher at $194.97.
Qantas shares hit their highest mark since November 2017, soaring 8.1 per cent to $6.27 after the airline flagged a record full-year underlying pre-tax profit between $1.55 billion and $1.6 billion.
Woolworths reported quarterly food sales growth that again outpaced its rival Coles, and its shares were up 0.9 per cent at $27.99 .
Coles owner Wesfarmers gained 0.1 per cent to $43.63.
The miners were mixed, with BHP Billiton down 0.2 per cent at $31.20 and Rio Tinto up 0.4 per cent at $80.01.
Fairfax Media put on 5.6 per cent to 75 cents as it announced further revenue declines for its newspapers and its New Zealand business Stuff, but strong revenue growth for Domain.
The Australian dollar staged a late resurgence after trading below 75 US cents for most of the day, due to a strengthening US dollar ahead of a two-day US Federal Reserve policy meeting, and cautious remarks from RBA Governor Philip Lowe on Tuesday night about the outlook for inflation.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 35 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 6,050.2 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 36.7 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 6,136.7 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was up 45 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 6,038 points.
* National turnover was 3.7 billion securities traded worth $7 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 75.11 US cents, from 75.25 US cents on Tuesday
* 82.51 Japanese yen, from 82.35 yen
* 62.53 euro cents, from 62.40 euro cents
* 55.18 British pence, from 54.73 pence
* 106.95 NZ cents, from 107.08 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,309.60 per fine ounce, from $US1,311.00 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
* CGS 5.75 per cent May 2021, 2.1879pct, from 2.1799pct on Tuesday
* CGS 2.25pct May 2028, 2.7969pct, from 2.7576pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was 97.19 (implying a yield of 2.81pct), from 97.23 (2.77pct) on Tuesday
* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was 97.77 (2.23ct), from 97.78 (2.22pct)
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)