Australian shares have closed higher and the benchmark index has established a fresh 10-year high as an easing in US-China trade worries underpinned a week of solid company results.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 ended Friday up 10.9 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 6,339.2 points while the All Ordinaries was up 13.6 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 6,426.2 points.
The benchmark recorded a weekly gain of about one per cent – its biggest since the first week of July and a new post-GFC high.
A firmer finish on Wall Street overnight set the local market up for a positive day, with banks leading the gains and strong earnings results from data administrator Link Group and property group Goodman also contributing.
US stocks rebounded on Thursday with the Dow posting its biggest percentage gain in over four months.
IG markets analyst Kyle Rodda said the Wall St lead had encouraged investors.
“I think that gave punters a bit of an opportunity to jump into markets without a sentiment play,” he said.
“We’ve done remarkably well throughout the week to be able to clock up new 10-year highs, the earnings were really solid.”
Mr Rodda said the current reporting season was delivering solid results and the market could push to 6,350 if the quality is sustained.
“I wouldn’t want to put the mozz on the ASX here but we’ve had practically everything you could imagine in terms of bad news thrown at us – typical financial crises in emerging markets, trade wars, all sorts of different problems emerging – but despite that, the market has held up really strong,” he said.
“The fundamentals are really respectable”.
Mirroring strength in their US peers, Australian banks led gains on Friday, with the financial index rising 0.3 per cent to its highest since March 13.
ANZ rose 0.7 per cent to $30.28, it highest since November 2017, while National Australia Bank strengthened 0.2 per cent to $28.85, CBA lifted 0.2 per cent to $74.29 and Westpac added 0.5 per cent to close at $30.33.
Goodman Group surged 5.3 per cent to a near 10-year high of $10.58 after posting a 41 per cent jump full-year profit.
Financial data admin giant Link Group climbed 6.3 per cent to $8.07, its highest since May 8, after reporting an 68 per cent jump in full-year net profit courtesy of a new acquisition and business growth.
On the opposite end, weakness in Origin Energy and health care stocks kept the benchmark’s gains in check.
Origin extended losses after underlying earnings of its energy markets business fell short of expectations on Thursday, falling 2.2 per cent to a more than four-month low of $8.89 on Friday.
Health care stocks were in red, with CSL dipping 0.4 per cent in profit-taking, while Sonic Healthcare dropped 2.6 per cent.
The Australian dollar was at 72.71 US cents at 1700 AEST, up from 72.69 US cents on Thursday as the US greenback stepped back from recent highs as upcoming talks between the US and China offered hope of an easing in trade tensions.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 10.9 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 6,339.2 points
* The All Ordinaries was up 13.6 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 6,426.2 points.
* In futures trading the SPI200 futures index was up 17 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 6,299 points.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 72.71 US cents, from 72.69 US cents on Thursday
* 80.531 Japanese yen, from 80.563
* 63.85 euro cents, from 63.90
* 57.1 British pence, from 57.15
* 110.23 NZ cents, from 110.40
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,174.44 per fine ounce, down from $US1,175.15 per fine ounce on Thursday.