The Australian share market has hit a fresh decade-high as Asian markets collectively shrugged their shoulders in response to the start of US President Donald Trump’s tariffs on $US34 billion worth of Chinese imports.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 56.8 points, or 0.91 per cent, at 6,272.3 points on Friday, the highest level since December 2007, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 52.8 points, or 0.84 per cent, at 6,355.7 points.
Some two-and-a-half hours after Trump’s tariffs began, there was a level of calm on Asian markets, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1.1 per cent and Shanghai Composite index one per cent stronger.
Japan’s Nikkei and Korea’s KOSPI were also trading up 1.1 and 0.7 per cent respectively, while Singapore’s local bourse was down 2.2 per cent.
IG Australia market analyst Kyle Rodda said the ASX remained strong despite the US-China trade war, largely thanks to a recovery by financial stocks during June and July after a tough May.
“The issues around tariffs have been around for a little while now and have almost … come close to being priced into markets – you can see that the way Chinese stocks and other Asian markets have responded,” he said.
“The ASX has been fairly resilient and again, like we saw a couple of weeks ago, the real driver of that has been a recovery in the bank stocks.”
ANZ led the big banks’ charge, rallying two per cent to $28.99, followed by Commonwealth Bank, up 1.6 per cent to $75.67, while NAB rose 1.6 per cent to $27.96 and Westpac gained 0.9 per cent to $29.78.
The materials sector also lifted, led by South32, which jumped 2.6 per cent to $3.62.
In companies news, Isentia Group rallied 12.1 per cent to 78.5 cents after reaffirming its full-yar earnings guidance of $32 million to $36 million and announcing a veteran Australian media executive Ed Harrison as its new chief executive.
Elders plunged 15.4 per cent to $7.06 after the rural services group delivered an update signalling its full-year earnings will be flat due to the impact of drought across large parts of Australia.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar lifted against its US counterpart on Friday but is still relatively low against the greenback, as has been the case for weeks.
Investors are awaiting June US non-farm payrolls data, which is expected to show an increase of around 210,000 jobs.
The Australian dollar was trading at 74.09 US cents at 1700 AEST on Friday, from 73.77 US cents on Thursday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 56.8 points, or 0.91 per cent, at 6,272.3
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 52.8 points, or 0.84 per cent, at 6,355.7 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was up 57 points, or 0.92 per cent, at 6,224 points
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 74.09 US cents, from 73.77 US cents on Thursday
* 81.957 Japanese yen, from 81.608 yen
* 63.21 euro cents, from 63.06 euro cents
* 55.96 British pence, from 55.72 pence
* 108.71 NZ cents, from 109.88 cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,256.49 per fine ounce, from $US1,255.49 per fine ounce on Thursday.