SYDNEY, AAP – A big jump in oil prices and energy shares have helped the Australian market reach a record high level early in trade.
Oil prices rose nearly two per cent to their highest level in more than two years as investors expect more demand in the second half of the year.
The world’s biggest oil traders said they see oil prices staying above $US70 a barrel.
They said demand was expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in the second half of 2022.
Energy shares on the ASX were the standout performers and rose 1.76 per cent.
Woodside Petroleum was one of the big names to benefit most and gained 2.8 per cent to $24.39.
The gains helped the market reach a record high of 7404.9.
However the indices were only slightly higher as gains in most categories were offset by materials shares declining by 0.68 per cent.
Utilities shares were the only other category to gain more than one per cent.
Information technology shares fared worst and lost 1.09 per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 23.6 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 7403.1 at 1200 AEST on Wednesday.
The All Ordinaries was up by 19.9 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 7652.9.
Meanwhile the Aussie dollar traded for less than 77 US cents.
ANZ Bank researchers said lower commodity prices were responsible.
Wall Street’s main indices closed lower as data showing stronger inflation and weaker US retail sales in May spooked investors awaiting the results of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.
The central bank will give a statement on policy and conditions by Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.27 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 0.20 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.71 per cent.
On the ASX, the Commonwealth Bank extended its all-time high price to $104.43.
Shares were up 0.83 per cent to $104.31.
NAB was best of the big four banks and higher by 0.86 per cent to $26.90.
Insurer IAG said it had received 4,300 claims following the heavy rain and flash flooding that continues to plague large parts of Victoria.
The company said full-year natural perils claim costs were likely to be higher than earlier guidance.
Shares were up 1.66 per cent to $5.19.
The big miners were mostly lower.
BHP shed 0.77 per cent to $48.84. Fortescue climbed 0.51 per cent to $23.45. Rio Tinto lost 0.33 per cent to $126.06.
Shares in the Shaver Shop Group have plummeted after investors were disappointed by a full-year earnings forecast.
Shares fell as much as 10 per cent in early trading despite the company projecting earnings that would be higher than last financial year.
Shares were lower by 7.79 per cent to $1.00.
The Australian dollar was buying 76.91 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 77.13 US cents at Tuesday’s close.