SYDNEY, AAP – Travel shares were slipping on a slightly higher Australian market after Melbourne’s coronavirus outbreak increased to 15 infections.
Corporate Travel Management had one of the biggest losses for getaway providers and slumped 1.64 per cent to $20.34.
Flight Centre dropped 0.79 per cent to $14.97. Qantas lost 0.63 per cent to $4.68.
The virus cluster in Melbourne’s north has almost doubled to 15 infections on Wednesday after six extra cases were confirmed.
Acting Premier James Merlino said he could not rule out tougher restrictions.
Meanwhile the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up by 19.9 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 7135.1 at 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries was higher by 23.8 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 7372.9.
Technology shares were best and higher by 2.34 per cent.
There were gains of more than one per cent for utilities and telecommunications.
Healthcare shares were the biggest laggard and dropped 0.37 per cent.
The moderate moves on the ASX come after US stocks closed slightly lower.
Federal Reserve officials continue to downplay rising price pressures.
Fed vice chair Richard Clarida said the central bank can take steps to cool a jump in inflation, if it occurs, without derailing the economic rebound from the pandemic.
Data showed sales of new US single-family homes dropped in April as prices surged amid a tight supply of houses.
Meanwhile in Australia, construction work rebounded in the first three months of the year.
Government initiatives and low interest rates helped total construction work rise 2.4 per cent to $51.97 billion.
This was a little higher than economists expected.
On the ASX, Commonwealth Bank shares have traded for $100 for the first time since the bank joined the market in 1991.
The shares changed ownership for the triple-digit amount in the first hour of trade after opening at $99.25.
They soon rose as high as $100.30.
Shares had since eased to be better by 0.48 per cent to $100.11.
The big four banks were all higher and Westpac was best. It rose 0.57 per cent to $26.35.
Market operator ASX said deputy chief executive Peter Hiom had resigned.
Mr Hiom will join technology investment firm Motive Partners.
Shares in ASX were up 0.60 per cent to $76.05.
Iron ore prices rose a little but the big miners returned to their recent downward trajectory.
BHP shed 1.32 per cent to $46.85. Fortescue lost 0.73 per cent to $21.56. Rio Tinto slipped 1.18 per cent to $120.01.
In technology, WiseTech Global climbed 4.53 per cent to $28.34.
The Australian dollar was buying 77.56 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 77.68 US cents at Tuesday’s close.