Australia’s share market has hit a new high amid a slew of mixed local earnings results and positive leads from offshore.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 37.2 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 7,181.8 at midday AEDT on Thursday after setting an intraday record of 7184 in morning trade.
The broader All Ordinaries index gained 36 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 7,273.4 with most indicies in the green.
Info tech was marginally lower after a sell off on Wednesday and health care was dragged down by CSL, which sank at noon after matching CBA’s whopping 1.55 billion market capitalisation in morning trade.
The stock upswing comes after the S&P/ASX200 hit a record closing high of 7,132.7 on Wednesday, then US, European and Asian markets closed on positive notes after stimulus plans from China.
Qantas quantified the possible impact on its bottom line of the coronavirus and told the market it would cut capacity to Asia and locally to deal with the decline in travel.
The carrier’s shares soared 37.5 cents, or 5.95 per cent, to $6.675 despite its lower profit as it outlined its flexibility to cope with the impact.
Star Entertainment also climbed, adding 19 cents, or 4.59 per cent, to $4.33 despite being virus impacted and having a near 50 per cent plunge in half-year net profit thanks to lucky VIPs.
Medibank’s first-half profit slipped 14.3 per cent to $177.9 million as a previously flagged surge in claims expenses came to fruition and its shares dipped 5.5 cents, or 1.85 per cent, to $2.925.
Oil prices were higher overnight and most oil stocks were too on Thursday morning. Woodside, Beach Energy and Origin added value but Santos lost one cent, or 0,12 per cent, to $8.16.
The unemployment rate, one of the RBA’s most watched measures of the economy, has risen to 5.3 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The Australian dollar was buying 66.76 US cent at noon AEDT, down from 66.92 US cents as the market closed on Wednesday.