The Aussie market is tracking higher on Friday in what has been a roller coaster ride of a week. The ASX 200 is lifting 53 points or 0.8 per cent to 6600 as markets react to an abundance of trade related headlines and reports over the past few sessions leading into the face to face talks currently happening between the US and China.
Market hopes were further lifted after a tweet from President Trump saying he would meet with the Chinese delegation for further talks in the next 24 hours. Despite the volatility and earlier trade pessimism, the ASX 200 index is still on track for its best weekly gain in over a month.
Improvements have been mostly broad based on Friday with only the property sector a touch lower. Heavyweights, financials and materials are helping drive broad gains. The big four banks are all lifting by a minimum of 0.5 per cent. ANZ Bank (ANZ) is leading its peers with a 1.1 per cent boost. UK based bank CYBG Group (CYB), which operates UK’s Clydesdale Bank, has jumped 7.5 per cent on constructive talks around a Brexit Deal.
Resources are also performing well as commodity prices, such as crude oil and iron ore, advanced on trade optimism. Iron ore miners, Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP Group (BHP) and Fortescue Metals (FMG) are all at least 2 per cent higher. FMG has also announced a 12 month extension of its share buy-back, returning up to $500 million back to shareholders over the period.
Traditionally defensive stocks, such as gold names, are trading weaker. Silver Lake (SLR) is the exception with a rise of 10 per cent. The gold miner impressed the market with its operational update for production.
In other company news, Michael Hill (MHJ) has climbed 16 per cent on a solid first quarter update for FY20. Group same store sales rose 11.9 per cent for the jeweller with strong growth in its Canadian, NZ and Australian markets. Online sales saw even stronger growth. Elsewhere, Isignthis (ISX) has responded to queries from the ASX on its recent price volatility but still remains in suspension.
The Aussie dollar has also managed to firm against a softer greenback on trade optimism, buying 67.65 US cents. There are no major economic releases due today. So far, 0.9b units have traded worth $1.7b with 555 stocks higher, 401 weaker and 333 unchanged.
Published by CommSec