SYDNEY, AAP – Australia shares have climbed to a fresh high for the sixth straight session, buoyed by the materials and technology sectors.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index hit an all-time intraday high of 7334.90 points in the first hour of trading. It has since eased and up one point, or 0.01 per cent, to 7293.60 by 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries was up by 4.6 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 7546.90.
Materials shares, higher by 0.49 per cent, contributed the most.
BHP jumped 1.03 per cent to $48.88. Fortescue gained 0.55 per cent to $22.54. Rio Tinto climbed 0.26 per cent to $124.49.
Information technology shares also rose, gaining 0.56 per cent.
Afterpay climbed 3.08 per cent to $100.20, crossing the $100 level for the first time in nearly a month.
Financials dropped 0.38 per cent. ANZ was best of the big four and was little changed, with the other major banks trading less than one per cent lower.
Consumer staples were the worst faring sector on Wednesday, down 0.87 per cent.
The ASX and US markets have made modest moves this week prior to inflation data due from China and the US.
China will publish consumer and producer inflation data later on Wednesday. The figures will show if prices are surging as major economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
US consumer inflation data will follow later in the week.
Overnight, the three major US stock indices closed little changed or higher. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite fared best after Amazon and Apple provided a boost. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones closed within about 0.5 per cent of record highs.
On the ASX, airline Regional Express has forecast a full-year loss of $15 million due to Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak.
The airline, also known as Rex, had been on course for earnings to break-even but on Wednesday said it now expected a statutory loss before tax of $15 million. Its shares were trading even at $1.25.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s government said Melbourne’s two-week coronavirus lockdown will end on Friday but some restrictions will remain across the state.
That prompted a lift in travel providers.
Corporate Travel Management rose 3.38 per cent to $21.70, while Webjet climbed 2.73 per cent to $5.26.
Building materials supplier Brickworks rose 7.96 per cent to $22.69 after revealing a huge jump in the value of its property trust.
Boss Lindsay Partridge said a string of industrial property sales in western Sydney had boosted the value of the trust.
The Australian dollar was buying 77.41 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 77.46 US cents at Tuesday’s close.