The Australian share market returned to the winner’s circle on Wednesday. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose by 64 points or 0.9 per cent after falling 20.3 points or 0.3 per cent on Tuesday.

The Aussie share market benefited from a positive lead-in from the US share market with key indexes gaining 0.6-1.0
per cent. Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, didn’t mention monetary policy settings in a speech delivered in
Sweden. So now attention turns to inflation figures to be released in the US on Thursday.

Eleven of the 12 Aussie industry sectors rose on Wednesday, led by Materials and Property Trusts. Miners benefitted from a 1.9 per cent lift in the iron ore price. BHP (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO), Fortescue (FMG) and Mineral Resources (MIN) combined added 18 points to lift the ASX 200 index.

Shares in BHP (BHP) hit an all-time high of $48.93 during the session on optimism about the re-opening of the Chinese economy. BHP finished up 1.5 per cent higher to $48.51.

Global lithium producer SQM has made an initial $4.2 million investment in Azure (AZS). Shares in Azure rose 33.3 per cent.


Top Australian Brokers


Pendal Group (PDL) said that the Supreme Court of New South Wales has today made orders approving the
proposed acquisition of Pendal by Perpetual Limited (PPT) by way of a Scheme of Arrangement. Pendal will also
request that the quotation of its shares on the ASX be suspended from close of trading tomorrow.

Consistent with the holiday period, only 2.68 billion shares were traded on Wednesday worth $5.5 billion. Overall 811 stocks rose over the session, while 502 fell and 410 finished unchanged.

In terms of economic data, inflation was slightly above expectations at a 7.3 per cent annual rate in November.
Retail trade was also strong, up 1.4 per cent in November.

Looking ahead, investors await US and Chinese inflation data on Thursday. And the US earnings season (profit reporting period) starts on Friday.

Originally published by Craig James – Chief Economist (Author), CommSec