Financial stocks continue to seesaw on the Australian share market, which closed in the green despite a tough day for the major miners.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 32.1 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 6,215.5 points on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 29.2 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 6,302.9 points.
CommSec chief market analyst Steven Daghlian said the financial sector rose one per cent on Thursday, but cautioned investors should not read too much into the result.
“(Bank stocks) did poorly yesterday – they are just going back and forth at the moment, they are not really heading in one direction or another,” he said.
“There actually hasn’t been a two-day move in the same direction (for financial stocks) since the middle of June.”
Commonwealth Bank was the biggest winner among the big four banks, advancing 1.2 per cent to $74.46, followed by ANZ, up 1.2 per cent to $28.43, while Westpac added one per cent to $29.53 and NAB rose 0.5 per cent to $27.52.
The major miners lost ground after a dip in the price of iron ore and base metals overnight, with Rio Tinto slumping 1.2 per cent to $79.21 and the more diversified BHP also losing 0.5 per cent to $32.87.
Caltex Australia was up 0.3 per cent to $32.56 after inking a 15-year fuel supply deal with supermarket giant Woolworths.
Higher oil prices helped boost other energy stocks, with Woodside Petroleum rising 0.5 per cent to $35.47, Santos gaining 0.3 per cent to $6.24 and Oil Search adding 0.1 per cent to $8.91.
In companies news, Bellamy’s Australia shares tumbled 9.6 per cent to $12.77 – their lowest level since January – after Goldman Sachs revised down earnings expectations for the infant formula maker on worries about feared regulatory delays in China.
Domino’s Pizza shares plunged to a one-month low after analyst downgrades, falling 9.1 per cent to $48.92.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was stronger compared with its US counterpart on Thursday but remains relatively low, having progressively fallen against the greenback for four weeks.
The Australian dollar was trading at 73.77 US cents at 1700 AEST on Thursday, from 74.12 US cents on Wednesday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 32.1 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 6,215.5 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 29.2 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 6,302.9 points.
* The SPI200 futures contract was up 30 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 6,167 points
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 73.77 US cents, from 74.12 on Wednesday
* 81.608 Japanese yen, from 81.807 yen
* 63.06 euro cents, from 63.46 euro cents
* 55.72 British pence, from 56.06 pence
* 108.88 NZ cents, from 109.31 cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,255.49 per fine ounce, from $US1,260.51 per fine ounce on Wednesday