SYDNEY, AAP – Investors have remained buoyant after US President-elect Joe Biden revealed a $US 1.9 trillion ($2.5 trillion) stimulus proposal designed to jump-start the economy, and the Australian share market was higher.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 21.6 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 6736.9 at 1200 AEDT on Friday.
The index was slightly below its highest level of the session, 6744.0
The All Ordinaries was higher by 20.3 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 7030.0.
The Biden plan includes $US415 billion to bolster the nation’s response to the virus and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, some $US1 trillion in direct relief to households, and roughly $US440 billion for small businesses and communities particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
The US stimulus proposal includes payment cheques of $US1400 – topping up the earlier $US600 cheques.
US markets closed slightly lower prior to the stimulus details.
On the ASX, information technology was the top sector, up 1.75 per cent.
Afterpay reached a record price of $128.72 in the wake of US rival Affirm’s initial public offering on the Nasdaq.
Shares had since eased to be higher by 6.14 per cent to $128.44.
The next best sector was materials, higher by 0.61 per cent.
Energy was better by 0.53 per cent and financials higher by 0.39 per cent.
Australians continue to show confidence in the economy by taking out a swathe of home loans during the final stages of 2020, building on the record high set in October.
Monthly lending figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Friday showed a 5.6 per cent increase in November.
The value of new home loans for owner-occupiers rose by 5.5 per cent to $18.3 billion, to be more than 31 per cent higher than a year earlier.
Government incentives and low interest rates contributed to the growth.
Meanwhile there were no local coronavirus infections reported in Australia.
On the ASX, BHP reached a record price of $47.54, helped by commodity prices. The shares had since eased to be higher by 1.79 per cent to $46.88.
Fortescue rose 0.12 per cent to $24.79 and Rio Tinto was up 0.80 per cent to $120.62.
Payments provider Tyro fell 11.78 per cent to $2.32 as it continues trying to resolve a software problem affecting EFTPOS terminals.
Software vendor Objective Corporation, which caters to government agencies, forecast a 70 per cent rise in net profit for its first-half.
The firm on Friday said a net profit after tax of $7.2 million was expected for the six months to December 31, a hefty rise on the same six months of 2019.
A boost in sales, expected to be 40 per cent, will provide $46.5 million revenue.
Shares earlier fetched a record $14.50.
They had since eased to be higher by 3.77 per cent to $13.49.
In banking, Westpac was best of the big four. Shares were higher by 2.13 per cent to $21.48.
In the US earlier, the S&P 500 fell 14.30 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 3,795.54. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 68.95 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 30,991.52. The Nasdaq composite dropped 16.31 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 13,112.64.
The Aussie dollar was buying 77.76 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 77.49 US cents at the close of trade on Thursday.