SYDNEY, AAP – A warning about higher interest rates from the Reserve Bank has not deterred investors from pushing the share market higher.
Commodity shares were leading the market about half a per cent higher on Friday after two consecutive days of losses for the indices.
The Reserve Bank in its quarterly Financial Stability Review has warned borrowers to be prepared for interest rates to rise more quickly than anticipated.
Inflation had been higher and more persistent than expected, the bank said, and there was a risk rates could rise by more than expected by those in financial markets.
The warning comes after the central bank this week stopped saying it was prepared to be patient on increasing rates.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 43 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 7485.8 at 1200 AEST.
The index was about 150 points from its record high of August.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 46.4 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 7781.2.
The only share categories with losses were information technology and utilities. They lost less than half a per cent each.
Wall Street rebounded higher after the US Federal Reserve March meeting minutes, published mid-week, prompted a couple of days of losses.
The central bank showed policymakers ready to start cutting asset holdings from May and prepared to move rates higher by 50-basis-points at a time.
In ASX company news and moves, GrainCorp surged after upgrading full-year earnings guidance.
The Ukraine conflict and trade disruptions have led northern hemisphere buyers to look for grain supply elsewhere.
Full-year earnings were upgraded to between $590 million and $670 million. The previous range was from $480 million to $540 million.
GrainCorp was up five per cent to $9.16.
Health imaging provider Pro Medicus has signed a $32 million deal with a US healthcare provider.
Inova Health System will deploy the Visage 7 platform for diagnostic imaging as part of an eight-year contract.
Pro Medicus was up one per cent to $47.79.
Miner South32 is raising US$700 million from unsecured notes to help repay debts from buying a stake in Chilean copper mine Sierra Gorda.
The 10-year US dollar bond is a first for the company and will pay investors 4.35 per cent per annum.
South32 was little changed at $4.98.
Among the biggest miners, BHP and Fortescue were each higher by one per cent to $51.84 and $22.06 respectively.
Rio Tinto was higher by less than one per cent to $119.80.
The big four banks were all higher but by less than half a per cent.
Ampol’s sale of its New Zealand Gull fuel business has gained another clearance from the competition watchdog.
Australian fund manager Allegro will buy the business for $475 million after the Kiwi watchdog approved the purchase.
Ampol must complete its purchase of New Zealand fuel provider Z Energy before the former deal can take place.
Ampol was up almost one per cent to $32.10.
The Australian dollar was buying 74.82 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 74.85 US cents at Thursday’s close.