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ASX higher for sixth consecutive session

Steven Deare
·4-min read

Australia's share market closed higher for its sixth consecutive session, helped by bank and technology stocks, after trading flat for most of the day.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed higher by 29.7 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 6131.9 on Monday.

Despite a good lead from Wall Street on economic stimulus hopes, the index fluctuated between negative and positive in the first few hours. It rose steadily in the last hour.

The All Ordinaries index finished better by 30.5 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 6343.

While investors can be happy with gains, the market's performance was not as certain as last week's 5.36 per cent improvement. That was the best week since April.

Tribeca Investment Partners portfolio manager Jun Bei Liu did not expect great levels of trading this month.

"It's a very thin period. In September, we were in an information vacuum. Now we're getting some AGMs, and the news flow has been positive."

US President Donald Trump's efforts to broker a stimulus deal last week, as well as the federal budget, helped.

"You're seeing more confidence but volumes are low," Ms Liu said.

She expected the ASX to stay range-bound due to uncertainty about the US election result on November 3.

Range-bound refers to the maximum and minimum number of points the ASX indices usually move between. The ASX200 has remained below 6,200 for the last four months.

Financials proved the most important sector to Monday's gain, up 1.18 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank officials said they were encouraged more customers resumed loan repayments amid the coronavirus pandemic, although many Victorians asked for more time to pay.

The number of loans with deferred repayments dropped by 45,000 ($17 billion) by the end of September to 129,000 ($42 billion).

Yet in a sign many are still battling financially, there were 17,300 extensions given to home loan customers with deferred repayments.

Shares in the bank ended higher by 1.33 per cent to $68.61. Elsewhere, ANZ was higher by 1.99 per cent to $18.98, NAB was better by 1.61 per cent to $18.99 and Westpac gained 1.87 per cent to $18.55.

The tech sector, which finished up by 3.03 per cent, had the day's best performer, share registry Link Group.

Link surged by 25.06 per cent to $4.99 after Pacific Equity Partners offered to buy all shares for $5.20 each.

Also in IT, Bravura Solutions acquired UK software provider Delta Financial Systems for $41.5 million. Shares in Bravura were up by 8.88 per cent to $3.68.

Victoria's gaming regulator issued a show cause notice to casino operator Crown over compliance issues with junket operators.

The notice came as Crown board member Andrew Demetriou told a NSW inquiry into similar claims that a failure in culture led to dealings with dodgy junket operators.

Shares ended lower by 2.0 per cent to $8.80.

In mining, Fortescue Metals said it would further extend its on-market share buyback. Its shares finished lower by 0.53 per cent to $16.86. BHP was down 0.38 per cent to $36.44, while Rio Tinto shed 0.88 per cent to $96.64.

Gold miner Evolution said its production and financials were ahead of plans. Its shares ended up by 3.73 per cent to $6.12.

On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Bank and Telstra will have annual general meetings and investors will be looking for earnings guidance.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index - a pointer to future household spending - will also be released.

The Aussie dollar was buying 72.31 US cents at 1705 AEDT, higher from 71.82 US cents at the close of trade on Friday.


* The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed higher by 29.7 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 6131.9 on Monday.

* The All Ordinaries index finished better by 30.5 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 6343.

* At 1705 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was trading even at 6113.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 72.31 US cents, from 71.75 US cents on Friday

* 76.25 Japanese yen, from 76.01 yen

* 61.17 Euro cents, from 60.95 cents

* 55.41 British pence, from 55.45 pence

* 108.46 NZ cents, from 108.70 cents.