SYDNEY, AAP – There was plenty of optimism to start the week on the Australian share market, despite a US Federal Reserve meeting looming and more warnings about Omicron.
Investors did not panic about how the US central bank might this week respond to record inflation and helped shares to a broad-based rally for much of the day.
The market was about 0.7 per cent higher for the last few hours of Monday trade, but halved gains in the final minutes.
Property, energy and materials shares were best. The big miners each had gains of about two per cent.
Financials and healthcare shares fared worst. Each category lost less than 0.3 per cent.
The ASX followed Wall Street’s lead, despite the largest annual increase in US consumer prices in nearly four decades being revealed on Friday.
IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said the 6.8 per cent annual growth rate met investor expectations.
“The data gave no additional impetus for the Fed to slam the brakes on the economy to control inflation,” he said.
The central bank meets mid-week and is tipped to wind back its bond-buying.
Mr Rodda said the ASX was also helped by the increased likelihood of stimulus from Chinese policymakers.
A warning overnight from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of a “tidal wave” of infections from the latest coronavirus variant seemed not to worry traders.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 25.8 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 7379.3 points.
The All Ordinaries closed higher by 29.6 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 7697.5 points.
In stock news, CSL confirmed it is talking to a producer of iron deficiency therapies, Vifor Pharma of Switzerland, about buying the company.
CSL said there was no certainty a deal would occur.
Shares were down 0.35 per cent to $297.27.
Three of the big banks were down prior to their annual general meetings this week.
ANZ, NAB and Westpac each lost less than half a per cent. The Commonwealth was best and rose 0.13 per cent to $98.03.
Property investment group Charter Hall was one of the shares helping the category be the best improver.
Charter Hall raised its full-year earnings forecast after valuations of its properties revealed an increase of $3.5 billion.
The company raised earnings per security guidance to no less than 105 cents each.
Securities were higher by 5.62 per cent to $20.85.
Energy shares fared second best as investors discounted the Omicron impact and raised oil prices.
Beach Energy was one of the top ones and improved by 3.35 per cent to $1.23.
Ramsay Health Care has bought UK mental healthcare provider Elysium Healthcare for $1.4 billion.
Ramsay is using existing debt facilities to buy the company, which runs hospitals and complex care homes.
Shares were down almost one per cent to $68.85.
The dollar was buying 71.69 US cents at 1712 AEDT, higher from 71.48 US cents at Friday’s close.
ON THE ASX
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 25.8 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 7379.3 points on Monday.
* The All Ordinaries closed higher by 29.6 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 7697.5 points.
* At 1712 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was higher by four points, or 0.05 per cent, to 7384 points.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 71.69 US cents, from 71.48 cents on Friday
* 81.39 Japanese yen, from 81.08 yen
* 63.48 Euro cents, from 63.24 cents
* 54.12 British pence, from 54.06 pence
* 105.54 NZ cents, from 105.27 cents.