The Australian share market has finished higher despite losses in the heavyweight mining sector.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 24.5 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 6,383 points at 1615 AEST on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 22.8 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 6,466.4.
All sectors were up except the mining and energy, which Bell Direct market analyst Julia Lee attributed to weaker commodity prices, in particular iron ore.
Utilities and property trusts were the biggest gainers, with both sectors up more than two per cent, which Ms Lee said was not surprising given all the talk of interest rate cuts in Australia and the US.
Among utility stocks, APA Group was up three per cent to $10.61, AGL Energy was up 1.87 per cent to $20.65 and AusNet was up 2.2 per cent to $1.835.
In the real estate sector, Goodman Group gained 3.3 per cent to $14, Dexus gained 2.3 per cent to $13.36 and Scentre was up 1.9 per cent to $3.79.
The mining sector was down one per cent, with BHP dropping 1.3 per cent to $37.05, Rio Tinto down 2.8 per cent to $96.72 and Fortescue Metals down 2.8 per cent to $7.73.
The big banks were all up, by between 0.4 and 0.8 per cent, led by Westpac, which gained 21 cents to close at $27.83.
Bank of Queensland was up 0.96 per cent to $9.44 after announcing the appointment of outgoing Westpac executive George Frazis as its managing director and CEO.
Santos gained one per cent to $6.72 and Carnarvon Petroleum was up 3.7 per cent to 56 cents after the joint venture partners said a second appraisal well drilled north of Port Hedland, WA, had confirmed their Dorado oil discovery as a “major oil and gas resource”.
Regis Healthcare was down 6.6 per cent to $2.56 after the aged-care service provider said its full year profit would come in at the lower end of guidance.
Among tech stocks, Afterpay was down 1.9 per cent after reporting robust growth while disclosing that financial regulators had issues about the buy now, pay later company’s compliance with Australia’s anti-money-laundering/counter-terrorism financing rules.
“That’s put a bit of a cloud over that stock,” Ms Lee said.
Wisetech Global gained 5.7 per cent to $26.27 after an investor briefing highlighting how its logistics software is used by 12,000 logistics companies around the world.
Helloworld was up 1.80 per cent to $4.53 after the travel group said it was acquiring New Zealand sports tour group Williment.
Ausdrill dropped 6.8 per cent to $1.305 after flagging that it would cop a non-cash impairment of up to $95 million in its full year results.
The Aussie dollar is buying 69.70 US cents, from 69.98 US cents on Wednesday.
Looking forward, Ms Lee said traders will be watching US non-farm payroll data to be released Friday evening, Australia time.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 24.5 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 6,383 points at 1630 AEST on Wednesday.
* The All Ordinaries was up 22.8 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 6,466.4.
* At 1630 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up 24 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 6,386.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 69.72 US cents, from 69.98 US cents on Wednesday
* 75.40 Japanese yen, from 75.66 yen
* 62.09 euro cents, from 62.16 cents
* 54.99 British pence, from 55.07 pence
* 105.19 NZ cents, from 105.38 cents