Investors on the Australian share market have shaken off Wall Street worries about coronavirus restrictions in the US, pushing the ASX higher.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was up 25.8 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 6524.0 at 1200 AEDT on Wednesday.
The All Ordinaries gained 23.8 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 6721.6.
The indices have traded higher for almost all of the session.
Financials was the best sector, up 1.12 per cent, followed by health which gained 0.81 per cent.
US markets finished lower as investors worried about the possibility of more coronavirus restrictions to counter surging infection rates.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the surge could raise fear enough to discourage consumers from spending and hurt the economy.
In Australia, annual wage growth slumped to a record low of 1.4 per cent in the September quarter as a result of the pandemic.
The September quarter wage price index – a key measure of wages growth used by the Reserve Bank and Treasury – rose just 0.1 per cent.
It compares with an annual rate of 1.8 per cent as of June.
Meanwhile, federal politicians such as Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack have railed against border closures following a coronavirus cluster in South Australia.
The Adelaide cluster has infected 20 people in the city’s north.
Queensland, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia have closed borders to South Australia.
On the ASX, gaming vendor Aristocrat Leisure reported full-year net profit fell 52.6 per cent due to coronavirus restrictions on licensed venues.
The company reaped $357.1 million for the 12 months to September 30, although had a 33 per cent profit rise in its digital operations.
Shareholders will receive a final dividend of 10 cents per share, fully franked. This was lower than the fully franked 34 cents per share 2019 final dividend.
Shares were up 2.85 per cent to $34.26.
Kerry Stokes’ Seven Group held its annual general meeting and told shareholders its WesTrac and Coates businesses were on track for single digit earnings growth this financial year.
Beach Energy’s earnings however are expected to be down on the previous financial year.
Shares in Seven were down 1.9 per cent to $21.64.
In banking, ANZ was up 0.73 per cent to $21.88, the Commonwealth climbed 1.85 per cent to $76.79, NAB rose 1.64 per cent to $22.20 and Westpac was higher by 1.73 per cent to $19.35.
The big miners, BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue, were all lower by less than one per cent.
Earlier in the US, the S&P 500 fell 17.38 points, or 0.5 per cent, to close at 3,609.53. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 167.09, or 0.6 per cent, to 29,783.35. The Nasdaq composite slipped 24.79, or 0.2 per cent, to 11,899.34.
The Aussie dollar was buying 72.80 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 73.19 US cents at Tuesday’s close.