SYDNEY, AAP – Energy shares have performed best on the ASX after investors shrugged off attempts by some nations to increase oil supply.
Beach Energy was up three per cent and Santos and Woodside gained two per cent on Wednesday after oil prices climbed overnight.
The US and Japan will release oil from reserves to try to lower the price, which has skyrocketed since economies reopened in the pandemic.
However analysts said the US adding 70 million to 80 million barrels of crude supply was less than expected. Brent crude was trading at $US82.3 per barrel at 1200 AEDT on Wednesday.
The big banks and miners were higher but there was little change in their respective categories of financials and materials.
Technology shares were down by a little more than one per cent after the Nasdaq was the only one of the main three US indices to close lower.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 0.7 points, or 0 per cent, to 7409.9 points.
The All Ordinaries was lower by 6.8 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 7734.9 points.
The Aussie dollar traded at 72 US cents before the Reserve Bank of New Zealand increased the cash rate by 0.25 basis points.
The bank’s second consecutive hike puts the cash rate at 0.75 per cent.
On the ASX, travel provider Webjet reduced first-half losses as people resumed travelling again in the pandemic.
The company posted a net loss after tax of $61.8 million for the six months to September, an improvement on the loss of $122 million reported this time last year.
Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of nine cents per share, the first since payouts were deferred in April 2020.
Shares were up 0.53 per cent to $5.62.
Among the miners, Fortescue improved by 1.32 per cent after gaining almost 10 per cent on Tuesday.
In banking, ANZ and the Commonwealth were best of the big four, Each gaining about one per cent.
A2 Milk will defend a second class action lawsuit by investors who say they were misled on trading performance, which led to financial loss.
Their claims are similar to those in an investor class action revealed last month.
Shares were unchanged at $6.31.
Harvey Norman warned sales have fallen 8.8 per cent this financial year.
The company blamed falls in the Euro and the Singaporean and Malaysian dollars for the the period to November 21.
The sales were better by almost 17 per cent on the same 2019 period.
Shares were down 0.19 per cent to $5.18.
Market operator ASX has retained its licence following an ASIC probe into an outage which prevented people trading in November last year.
ASIC has required ASX to address the causes of the outage and have an independent expert oversee changes.
Shares were down 0.34 per cent to $94.43.
Health insurer NIB has paid $4 million for a 50 per cent stake in software company Midnight Health.
The purchase will not affect full-year earnings.
Shares were unchanged at $7.05.
The Australian dollar was buying 72.23 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 72.22 US cents at Tuesday’s close.