Investors in a buying mood have pumped up the stock market as banks surge ahead of a Reserve Bank announcement on monetary policy.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 52.1 points, or 1.05 per cent, at 5,005.3 at 1015 AEDT on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 46 points, or 0.92 per cent, to 5,044.8.
There has been another flood of profit warnings and Qantas has suspended all international flights amid travel bans as the spread of the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Banks were leading the market higher after 15 minutes of trading while energy stocks sank along with the oil price overnight.
Offshore markets tanked overnight amid confusion and fear about how long the coronavirus, which has sent countries into lockdown, will last.
“We’ve seen big falls in equities and oil, as well as widespread selling of government bonds, even gold is being ditched. The only winner is the US dollar,” NAB’s morning call note says.
It is understood the corporate regulator is holding discussions with investment banks to ensure they follow new rules to cut daily trading volumes by 25 per cent in a bid to prevent an overload of market systems.
IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda says it is getting uglier in global financial markets.
“The signs of stress are building everywhere and it’s leading to a market environment of extreme panic,” he said.
“Investors … have returned to liquidating assets en masse, as confidence disappears the global economy can weather the COVID-19 ‘sudden stop’.”
“There are red flags everywhere as fears build that the global economy is headed for recession and the financial system is heading towards a crisis.”
The local market is waiting to hear the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy announcement on Thursday.
Economists expect it to cut interest rates and launch its first-ever quantitative easing program.
Markets widely expect the RBA to cut the cash rate to a record-low 0.25 per cent.
The Australian dollar was buying 57.69 US cents at 1015 AEDT, down from 59.98 US cents on Wednesday, which was the lowest level since 2003.