SYDNEY, AAP – The Australian share market has recorded a broad-based shift higher, overcoming a drag caused by some of the big mining companies grappling with labour shortages.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 23.6 points, or 0.31 per cent, to close at 7592.8 on Thursday, underpinned by strength in the energy, property, industrials, health and utilities sectors.
The index has been creeping back towards its record high of 7624.8, struck in August last year.
Shares in BHP were down by 3.06 per cent to $50.70 after the big miner said its operations were hampered by labour shortages along with bouts of bad weather and the enduring impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Production at its flagship Pilbara iron ore operations slipped in the March quarter.
The other major miners, including Rio (down 1.64 per cent) and Fortescue Metals (down 0.92 per cent), also dropped in moves that could have pulled the stock market into the red given the significance of miners to Australia’s mineral-tinged stock exchange.
But there were enough upbeat results and positive sentiment elsewhere to lift the overall exchange, with the All Ordinaries index rising 17.5 points, or 0.22 per cent, to close at 7887.1.
Property stocks enjoyed strong trader interest on Thursday. Shares in diversified property development company Stockland rose 2.44 per cent to close at $4.20 after revealing it was still recording a high level of investor inquiries even if the boom days were slipping away.
Other property companies followed the lead, with Lendlease, up 3.7 per cent, and Mirvac, rising 2.5 per cent.
Financial stocks also had a profitable day, led by annuities provider Challenger, which closed up 9.8 per cent after revealing net profit would be towards the upper end of its guidance.
Energy stocks fared well, with shares in Santos rising 1.7 per cent to $8.37 after it reported record revenue in the first quarter of 2022, backed by surging oil and gas prices.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has lifted oil and gas prices amid sanctions and disruptions to supply chains.
The US earnings season continues this week. Tesla beat analyst expectations, prompting a rise in its share price in after-hours trading.
Shares in Netflix were sold down for a second North American session after the streaming service reported an unexpected decline in first-quarter net subscribers.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 74.44 US cents at 1700 AEST, building on recent rises against the greenback.
ON THE ASX
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index ended 23.6 points, or 0.31 per cent, higher to close at 7592.8 on Thursday.
* The All Ordinaries index rose 17.5 points, or 0.22 per cent, to close at 7887.1.
* At 1700 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up 22 points to 7562.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 74.44 US cents, from 74.16 US cents when the ASX closed on Wednesday
* 95.32 Japanese yen, from 95.37 yen
* 68.29 Euro cents, from 68.6 cents
* 56.92 British pence, from 56.95 pence
* 109.67 NZ cents, from 109.68 NZ cents.