Higher prices for iron ore and oil and stronger-than-expected economic growth figures have helped boost the Australian share market and Australian dollar.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 30.2 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 6,025.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 28.9 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 6,137.4 points
The Australian dollar was worth 76.54 US cents at 1700 AEST, up from 76.38 US cents on Tuesday, and its highest level in more than six weeks.
CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said it was a positive session except for financial stocks, which remained under pressure given scandals arising from the financial services royal commission, and the criminal cartel conduct charges laid against ANZ, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup on Tuesday relating to a 2015 capital raising in ANZ shares.
Mr McCarthy said higher prices for oil and other commodities, including a good jump in the copper price, were a positive for the energy and mining sectors, and better than expected March quarter GDP growth also helped the market.
“It’s one of the key reasons for today’s outperformance,” he said.
“The positive surprise on growth is clearly good for the economic outlook.
“There’s plenty of people arguing that it’s a one-off and that we’ll see growth moderate again, but investors appear to be voting the other way in trading today.”
The economy expanded 1.0 per cent in the March quarter and grew 3.1 per cent over the 12 months to March, slightly ahead of market consensus forecasts, with exports a key factor in the growth.
The Australian dollar gained around a quarter of a US cent after the release of the GDP figures.
On the share market, BHP Billiton rose two per cent to $33.39, Rio Tinto gained 2.5 per cent to $84.01 and Fortescue Metals was up one per cent at $4.80.
Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum added 2.8 per cent to $32.91 and Santos advanced 2.3 per cent to $5.78.
Commonwealth Bank was the weakest of the big four lenders, losing 1.6 per cent to $69.23, while Westpac fell 0.9 per cent to $27.53, National Australia Bank dropped 1.1 per cent to $26.38 and ANZ eased 0.5 per cent to $26.52.
Metcash shed 2.2 per cent to $2.70 after the IGA supermarkets supplier said it will recognise a $352 million impairment charge due to the loss of one of its South Australian supermarket customers.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 30.2 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 6,025.1 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 28.9 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 6,137.4 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was up 23 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 6,023 points at 1630 AEST.
* National turnover was 3 billion securities traded worth $6.4 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 76.54 US cents, from 76.38 US cents on Tuesday
* 84.20 Japanese yen, from 83.85 yen
* 65.28 euro cents, from 65.26 euro cents
* 57.10 British pence, from 57.32 pence
* 108.52 NZ cents, from 108.50 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,297.72 per fine ounce, from $US1,293.79 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1600 AEST:
* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.1852pct, from 2.159pct on Tuesday
* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.7611pct, from 2.7287pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.235 (implying a yield of 2.765pct), from 97.270 (2.730pct) on Tuesday
* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.775 (2.225pct), from 97.805 (2.195pct).
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)