The Australian share market has closed higher after investors’ worst fears over the banking royal commission’s interim report were unfounded.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 26.4 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 6207.6 points on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries index was 26.2 points, or 0.42 per cent, higher at 6325.5 points.
After four consecutive days of losses, banking stocks bounced back after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg outlined the contents of the report published by commissioner Kenneth Hayne, CommSec chief market analyst Steven Daghlian said.
“They’ve been hit hard since the start of this year as well, but the report didn’t seem to include any specific recommendations as of yet ahead of the final report from the commissioner next year,” he told AAP.
The sector, which is dominated by the big four banks, jumped 1.6 per cent within minutes of the documents’ release and kept rising before tapering off late in the day.
Even Westpac, which had been in the red all day after announcing it was setting aside $235 million to compensate customers overcharged for financial services, was up more than one per cent on Thursday’s close.
Commonwealth Bank posted the highest gains, up 1.9 per cent to $71.41, while Westpac had the least of the big four, up 1.2 per cent to $27.93.
The gains didn’t extend to Macquarie Group, however, which fell 1.3 per cent to $126.04 after news its chief executive and his successor will likely to be named “persons of interest or suspects” in a German share market investigation.
Elsewhere, the materials sector closed higher despite benchmark Rio Tinto falling 0.6 per cent to $78.76, while BHP was up 0.4 per cent to $34.63.
The Australian dollar came under presser against a broadly firmer US currency as widening yield differentials and strains in emerging markets took their toll.
The Aussie was buying 72.18 US cents at 1630 AEST, from 72.26 US cents on Thursday.
In companies news, dairy producer A2 Milk Company shares fell to one-month lows after chief Jayne Hrdlicka sold her entire holdings last week and investment giant BlackRock and Pendal Group became substantial holders this week.
A2 shares were down 2.9 per cent to $10.24.
ON THE ASX:
* The S&P/ASX200 was up 26.4 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 6207.6 points
* The All Ordinaries was 26.2 points, or 0.42 per cent, higher at 6325.5 points
* In futures trading the SPI200 futures index was up 23 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 6193.0 points at 1630 AEST.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 72.18 US cents, from 72.26 US cents on Thursday.
* 81.89 Japanese yen, from 81.41
* 61.05 euro cents, from 61.78
* 55.20 British pence, from 55.02
* 109.19 NZ cents, from 108.89
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEST was $US1,182.93 per fine ounce, from $US1,194.73 on Thursday.