Positive start to the week for local shares
Local shares started the session with gains on Monday, setting the scene for a fourth day of gains. The ASX 200 kicked off with a gain of 2 points, before trading to a 21 point gain at the best levels of the morning. As lunch approached, the index had moderated to a gain of 11 points.
Telecom and Healthcare names built on the positive momentum of the previous week to be the most improved sectors over the morning. Financials were well supported, whilst consumer staples and discretionary stocks were lower.
The materials sector laboured in the face of weaker metals prices and the improvements of last week which saw the sub-index advance by 2.7%. A the weekend on the London Metal Exchange base metal prices fell by up to 2.1%, with aluminium falling the most – down 2.1%, while tin bucked the trend, up 0.5%. Over the course of last week metals were mixed with aluminium down 3% and lead up 2.5%, gold rose by US$13.00 or 1%. Overthe week iron ore rose by US$4.20 or 5.8% to $77.10. Bulk iron ore miner were weaker across the board on Monday morning with Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) down 0.8% at $5.30
In company news, Suncorp (SUN) shares were 1% or 15 cents lower on Monday at $13.73 after estimating theimpact of a hailstorm that caused significant damage in Melbourne last December. The insurer expects the claims to total between $160 million and $170 million, which would see the costs associated with natural hazards rise above its allowance for the last 6 months.
At lunch 4.45 billion shares had traded, worth $4.29 billion. 716 stocks closed higher, 506 finished weaker, while 406 ended unchanged.
For a look at how the local sharemarket performed over the past year, and the factors which could impact global markets over 2018
Originally published by CommSec