Australia’s share market is higher as investors continue to show support for a US election outcome that will likely give Joe Biden the presidency but prevent major policy changes in the Senate.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher 41.4 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 6181 at 1200 AEDT on Friday.
The All Ordinaries was higher 43.2 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 6387.2.
The indices rose at the opening of trade to a session high of 6202.3 after US markets closed higher.
However the ASX eased after 1110 AEDT to about 6160 when US President Donald Trump, without evidence, claimed election officials were working to hand the victory to Mr Biden.
Mr Trump claimed there was electoral fraud across the country and reiterated he would go to the courts.
“There’s going to be a lot of litigation,” he said.
Materials was the best performing sector, higher by 2.1 per cent.
Consumer discretionaries was next, higher by 1.36 per cent.
New figures show the services industry expanding for the first time since November 2019 as government stimulus and improved confidence leads to an increase in sales, new orders and deliveries.
The Australian Industry Group performance of services index surged 15.2 points in October to 51.4 points.
Meanwhile the Reserve Bank has confirmed it is not contemplating a further interest rate reduction.
In its quarterly statement on monetary policy, the bank said rates have been lowered as far as it makes sense to do so.
Mining magnate Clive Palmer has lost his legal challenge against Western Australia’s border ban.
The High Court found the state’s health directions and emergency laws valid.
WA is due to reopen to all jurisdictions except NSW and Victoria on November 14.
Tasmania reinstated travel ties with NSW on Friday.
On the ASX, Macquarie Bank reported a 32 per cent drop in half-year net profit largely due to writing down asset values amid the pandemic.
The interim dividend was $1.35 per share, 40 per cent franked, and is lower from $2.50 per share and 40 per cent franked this time last year.
Among the big four banks, ANZ was higher 0.28 per cent to $19.52, the Commonwealth was up 0.1 per cent to $69.74, NAB climbed 0.46 per cent to $19.40 and Westpac was better by 0.64 per cent to $17.81.
Tabcorp was higher 15.81 per cent to $4.10 after a media report claiming private equity groups are interested in buying parts of the operation.
Tabcorp chair said it was unaware of any proposal.
In mining, gold was doing well. Northern Star was up 5.95 per cent to $16.37.
Among other majors, BHP gained 1.37 per cent to $34.71, Rio Tinto gained 1.43 per cent to $93.27 and Fortescue was higher 0.69 per cent to $16.74.
Earlier in the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 542.52 points, or 1.95 per cent, to 28,390.18, the S&P 500 gained 67.01 points, or 1.95 per cent, to 3,510.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 300.15 points, or 2.59 per cent, to 11,890.93.
The Aussie dollar was buying 72.54 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 71.63 US cents at Thursday’s close.