SYDNEY, AAP – Investors have pushed the Australian share market higher the day after the federal budget, while progress in resolving the conflict in Ukraine also helped sentiment.
The ASX was higher for a seventh consecutive day after credit rating agencies endorsed a budget cutting fuel excise and giving $8.6 billion in cost-of-living measures for households.
However economists warned the fiscal stimulus would put pressure on the Reserve Bank to raise rates sooner.
Meanwhile world markets have been mostly higher after Russia pledged to reduce military operations in northern Ukraine and Kyiv.
Ukraine proposed neutral status as the two parties try to find peace after Russia invaded late last month.
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On the ASX, technology shares were best for a second consecutive day and gained three per cent.
Financial software provider Bravura was up seven per cent to $1.81.
There were gains of one per cent for industrials, consumer discretionaries, healthcare and property.
Like Tuesday, the commodity stocks were the only categories lower. They shed less than one per cent each.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 52.2 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 7516.5 at 1200 AEDT on Wednesday.
The index was a little more than 100 points from its record of August.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 54.2 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 7801.2.
In company news, Telstra’s next boss Vicki Brady says the carrier can be a growth company again as it sets course for the post-Andrew Penn era.
The chief financial officer was named the incoming chief executive officer and will replace the retiring Penn in September.
Telstra was little changed at $3.92.
Ampol said it would pass on the halving of the fuel excise for six months, as revealed in the budget.
This will save motorists 22 cents a litre.
Ampol was down less than one per cent to $30.97.
Casino operator Star Entertainment was lower after a securities class action was filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Matt Bekier resigned this week as boss after revelations the company was lax in preventing criminal activity at its venues.
Star was down almost one per cent to $3.23.
Fortescue Metals’ renewables arm has joined a European energy operator to provide green hydrogen to Europe.
Fortescue Future Industries and E.ON will provide up to five million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030.
Fortescue was up almost one per cent to $19.67.
BHP and Rio Tinto each lost less than one per cent.
The big four banks were all higher by less than one per cent.
Elsewhere in financials, Macquarie Group rose one per cent to $206.32.
The Australian dollar was buying 75.10 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 74.83 US cents at Tuesday’s close.