SYDNEY, AAP – Commonwealth Bank’s shareholder-pleasing earnings have helped it and the ASX smash records in early trade.
Commonwealth shares traded for a record $109.03 on Wednesday after the bank’s full-year earnings included a $6 billion buyback and higher dividends.
The big four banks, along with Bendigo Bank, were all higher by more than one per cent at 1200 AEST.
Similar gains for mining giants BHP, Fortescue and Rio Tinto ensured the ASX200 climbed to a record 7615.1 points early in trade.
Energy shares were more than one per cent higher, while technology shares lost the most of any category, half of one per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 41 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 7603.6.
The All Ordinaries was up 42.3 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 7872.7.
Coronavirus lockdowns continue to plague the early part of the financial year.
Melbourne’s lockdown will be extended by a week after Victoria recorded another 20 infections, including five mystery cases.
People in Cairns are ready to exit a short lockdown, while millions in NSW must stay at home until the end of the month.
US markets closed at record highs although their gains were modest.
Economically sensitive stocks gained following the US Senate’s passage of a $US1 trillion ($A1.4 trillion) bipartisan infrastructure package.
The bill, which heads to the House of Representatives, could provide the country’s biggest investment in decades in roads, bridges, airports and waterways.
The S&P 500 closed 0.1 per cent higher. The Dow was better while the Nasdaq dipped.
On the ASX, insurer IAG made a full-year loss after business interruption claims from COVID-19 and refunds to customers weighed on the bottom line.
The company behind CGU and NRMA reported a net loss after tax of $427 million.
Shares dropped 1.89 per cent to $5.18.
The fall may have affected enthusiasm for rival insurer QBE. Its shares lost 1.28 per cent to $11.48.
Markets software vendor Iress jumped 5.15 per cent to $15.10 after the company received an improved takeover offer.
EQT Fund Management has offered to pay $15.91 for all shares before franking credits.
EQT would also ensure an interim payout of up to 16 cents per share.
Iress said its board will recommend the offer to investors.
In energy, one of the best performers was Beach. Shares were up 2.75 per cent to $1.21.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.44 US cents at 1200 AEST on Tuesday, higher from 73.25 US cents at Tuesday’s close.