Afterpay’s soaring customer numbers may have made headlines but investors found more to like in Woolworths’ full-year results as the share market traded higher.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 39.9 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 6156.3 at 1200 AEST on Thursday.
The All Ordinaries index was up by 44.2 points, or 0.70 per cent, to 6338.7.
Afterpay reported a more than 100 per cent lift in income and a more than doubling in customer numbers in its full-year report.
However the company recorded a net loss of $19.8 million and did not pay a dividend.
Shares were down 0.25 per cent to $90.49. They reached a record high of $95.97 earlier this week.
Investors preferred Woolworths’ results, which showed total sales rose by 8.1 per cent on the previous financial year to $63.7 billion.
Profit was down 1.2 per cent to $1.6 billion.
Final dividend was 48 cents per share, fully franked, down from the 2019 fully franked final dividend of 57 cents per share.
Shares were higher by 2.77 per cent to $40.36.
More broadly, the materials sector was keeping the ASX higher. Its 1.47 per cent rise led the gains.
Miners were doing well. BHP rose 1.15 per cent to $38.46, Rio Tinto climbed 1.06 per cent to $100.35 and Fortescue was up 2.35 per cent to $19.16.
The interest in Woolworths helped consumer staples have the next best gain, 1.29 per cent.
The big four banks were not helping. All had losses of less than 1.0 per cent.
Business investment data showed a sharp fall in the June quarter, coinciding with the coronavirus’ arrival to Australian shores and the nation entering lockdown.
June quarter private business capital expenditure tumbled 5.9 per cent to $26.1 billion, to be 11.5 per cent down on the year.
The decline was led by a 7.6 per cent slump in equipment, plant and machinery investment to $12.1 billion.
The share market gains follow the US S&P 500’s fourth straight record closing high, as investors stayed focused on large-cap momentum stocks that have outperformed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nasdaq also set an all-time closing high, its 39th year-to-date, compared with a total of 31 reached in all of 2019.
The Dow posted a more modest advance.
The Australian dollar was buying 72.31 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 71.90 US cents at Wednesday’s close.