Shares have crept into positive territory after the first two hours trading on the Australian share market, although big sectors such as energy and financials remained lower.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 21.6 points, or 0.35 per cent, at 6166.5 points at 1200 AEST on Wednesday.
The index hit its lowest ebb of the day of 6089.7 at 1015 AEST, but has improved since.
The All Ordinaries index was 21.9 points, or 0.35 per cent lower, at 6284.8 after the first two hours.
Financials were down by 1.9 per cent after the first 30 minutes but have recovered to be lower by only 0.42 per cent.
The energy sector was still struggling, down 1.83 per cent.
The best performing sectors were health, up 3.03 per cent, and information technology, up 2.35 per cent.
Shares in online retailer Kogan.com have been placed in a trading halt ahead of a share sale to institutional and retail investors. Also in tech, Afterpay was having a good day, higher by 5.58 per cent at $53.53. Meanwhile shares in Harvey Norman were 6.76 per cent higher at $3.79 after it reported second half sales in Australia were up 17.5 per cent. The company also said it would pay a fully franked special dividend of six cents per share. Law firm Slater and Gordon is filing a class action against Commonwealth Bank, alleging that Australia’s largest bank sold customers credit card and personal loan insurance that was worthless to them. The law firm recently settled a similar class action against NAB for $49.5 million and has also filed suits against ANZ and Westpac. The bank’s performance on the market however was consistent with others in the big four. Shares in the Commonwealth Bank lost 0.15 per cent to $72.09, ANZ slipped 1.1 per cent to $20.77, NAB fell 0.49 per cent to $20.37 and Westpac lost 0.3 per cent to $19.82. In energy, Woodside and Santos had the biggest losses of some big names, down 2.72 and 2.27 per cent respectively. Mining fortunes were mixed with BHP up 0.88 per cent to $37.97, Rio fell 0.63 per cent to $100.73 and Fortescue edged up by 0.44 per cent to $14.93. Gold miners had a bright start. Newcrest gained 0.85 per cent to $28.63, Northern Star was higher by 2.34 per cent to $13.11, and Evolution rose 2.48 per cent to $5.37. Large biotech CSL gave the health sector a great boost with its share price up by 4.39 per cent to $290.73. Overnight in the US, the S&P 500 and Dow fell as the Federal Reserve began a two-day meeting. While no major policy announcements are expected when the US central bank wraps up on Thursday morning, Australian time, investors will scrutinise remarks on the health of the economy, which has been reopening after coronavirus-related closures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell around one per cent each while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.3 per cent. In Australia on Wednesday, investors are eyeing data for housing, personal and business loans from April as well the Westpac consumer sentiment June index, which showed that confidence is back to the levels before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The Australian dollar was buying 69.56 US cents at 1200 AEST, up from 69.37 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.