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ASX climbs as Wall St resets record

ASX Finance Today
Australian shares extended their gains on Thursday, with tech stocks leading the pack. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

The Australian sharemarket extended its gains on Thursday, taking its lead from a record-breaking tech dominated rally on Wall Street.

On the local benchmark, all 11 of the S&P200’s industry sectors finished in the green, with the index adding 0.7 per cent, or 52.8 points, to reach 7821.8. The broader All Ordinaries added a similar amount to 8074.3.

The Australian dollar finished higher, buying US66.59c against the greenback at 5pm.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P500 and the tech-dominated Nasdaq composite reset their record highs, up 1.2 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively. The Dow added 0.2 per cent.

The S&P500 and the Nasdaq composite reset record highs during Wednesday’s trading. Picture: Supplied
The S&P500 and the Nasdaq composite reset record highs during Wednesday’s trading. Picture: Supplied

Bond markets also reacted to an easing of interest rates by the Bank of Canada overnight with the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note slipping below 4.3 per cent – its lowest level since March.

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Money markets are fully priced for two rate cuts by the Federal Reserve before year’s end.

Inspired by a rally on the Nasdaq, techs stocks led the benchmark, adding 1.4 per cent. Wisetech added 2.8 per cent to $100.22, Xero climbed 1.8 per cent to $128.20, and NextDc rose 1.1 per cent to $17.89.

The rally was also propelled by financials, up 1 per cent. Leading the big four banks, was CBA up 1.1 per cent to $124.85. NAB added 0.6 per cent to $35, Westpac climbed 0.8 per cent to $26.97, and ANZ rose 1 per cent to $29.06.

“Financials are causing a lot of grief for the analyst community out there – they’ve very, very narrowly fallen short of reclaiming that pre-GFC high,” IG Australia market analyst Tony Sycamore said.

“Were they closed, we could still do it over the next day or so.”

COMMERCIAL -  SkyCity Casino
Gaming and casino operator SkyCity flagged weaker-than-expected earnings. Picture: Supplied.

Materials stocks also advanced as iron ore futures rebounded from six-month lows to trade at $US108.95 a tonne. Sector heavyweights were mixed with BHP up 0.3 per cent to $44.05, while Fortescue was off 0.3 per cent to $24.06, and Rio Tinto fell 0.9 per cent to $124.51.

Even as Brent Crude edged higher to $US79 a barrel, energy stocks were flat. While Woodside dipped 0.1 per cent to $27.11, Santos climbed 0.3 per cent to $7.52.

In corporate news, IDP Education dived 7.5 per cent to $14.51 to be among the worst performers. Confirmed in Wednesday’s national accounts figures, the federal government’s clampdown on international student arrivals would have a large reduction on its business, the company warned.

Auckland-based casino operator SkyCity plunged 13.7 per cent to $1.39 after it cut its guidance to between $NZ120 million to $NZ125m on weaker-than-expected earnings and suspended its dividends due to the “ongoing challenging economic environment impacting customer spend”.

Fund manager Magellan advanced 1.3 per cent to $8.45 after it announced funds under management had climbed to $35.7bn, up $400m.