The Australian sharemarket lifted again on Thursday, supported by a positive, but volatile, session on Wall Street. Investors digested the 25 basis point lift in the federal funds rate by the Federal Reserve. While further ongoing increases in rates were flagged, US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell noted that the “disinflationary process” had begun.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose by 9.9 points or 0.1 per cent to 7,511.6, edging closer to record highs of 7,632.8.
The US Dow Jones index rose by 7 points or less than 0.1 per cent after trading in a 753-point range. The S&P 500 index gained 1.1 per cent and the Nasdaq index added 232 points or 2 per cent.
After the close of trade, shares in Facebook parent, Meta Platforms, rose 20.2 per cent after announcing a US$40 billion stock buyback when reporting quarterly results. Earnings beat market forecasts and the outlook statement was positive.
Turning to Australia, on Thursday 7 of 12 industry sectors posted gains. Information Technology rose by 3.2 per cent and Consumer Discretionary rose 1.3 per cent. But Energy fell 0.9 per cent in response to a lower crude price.
Top Australian Brokers
International human services provider, APM Human Services (APM), has completed the purchase of registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider, Everyday Independence. The purchase was made for a “cash consideration of $52.5 million plus an earn-out based on financial year ended 30 June 2024 targets.” Shares in APM fell 4.3 per cent.
ASX Limited (ASX) announced the appointment of two new nonexecutive directors, continuing the “commitment to refresh talent, skills and experience of its directors.” Shares in ASX rose 0.6 per cent.
DroneShield (DRO) went into a trading halt. The AFR reported that stockbrokers Peleton Capital and Bell Potter had launched a raising worth $9 million to $11 million.
On Friday, 3.3 billion shares were traded, worth $7.7 billion. Overall 763 stocks rose over the session, while 656 fell and 395 finished unchanged.
In Europe, both the European Central Bank and Bank of England will announce interest rate decisions. In the US, weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance will be issued with factory orders, Challenger job cuts and measures on labour costs and productivity. Key earnings results are released in the US by Amazon, Alphabet and Apple.
Originally published by Craig James – Chief Economist (Author), CommSec