The Australian sharemarket has bounced back from a slow start to the day despite updates on China’s manufacturing sector falling short of market hopes. The ASX 200 index is up 4pts or 0.1 per cent at lunch thanks to gains from resource stocks, banks and telcos.
In the absence of a significant tumble this afternoon, local shares are on track in July to lift for a fourth straight month. This would make it the longest monthly winning streak since 2013. Despite Australian equities hovering around 10.5 year highs, the ASX 200 has hit a ceiling at 6300pts over the course of the month.
BHP Billiton (BHP) is the single biggest contributor to the gains today, lifting by 1.5 per cent. Australia’s largest miner announced plans to sell its underperforming US shale business for around A$14.5bn last week. It also said it anticipates returning the proceeds to shareholders.
The banks are also making a difference, with the big four lifting by as much as 0.5 per cent. Macquarie (MQG) remains under pressure after news of a leadership change.
Energy producer Origin (ORG) is up slightly and said revenue in the past quarter has shot up by 23 per cent thanks to stronger commodity prices.
The heavy losses in US technology stocks is rubbing off on Australia’s small IT sector. In recent sessions losses from Facebook, Twitter and Electronic Arts contributed to falls across American equities following lower earnings. While the local technology sector is only small keep in mind that Australian IT stocks have generally outperformed in 2018.
Wisetech (WTC) – a provider of software to the logistics industry globally – is down by around 8 per cent while REA Group (REA) – the operator of property classified site www.realestate.com.au – is down by 2.2 per cent.
Gold producer Regis Resources (RRL) is down by 9 per cent following a quarterly update and warning of higher costs.
Consumer confidence rose by 0.8 per cent last week to 119.8pts. Retail stocks including JB Hi-Fi (JBH), Harvey Norman (HVN) and Kogan.com (KGN) are under pressure regardless today.
1.4bn shares have been trading so far today worth $1.7bn. 447 stocks are up, 552 are down and 354 are flat.
Published by CommSec