Aust shares continue good run

The Australian share market has continued its rally above 5,000 points, edging higher thanks to solid gains in the resources sector.

At 1208 AEDT on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11.1 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 5,014.8 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 11.8 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 5,036.3 points.

On Wednesday, the ASX200 broke through the 5,000 point barrier to close at its highest level since the global financial crisis.

On the ASX 24 on Thursday, the March share price index futures contract was up 17 points at 4,973 points, with 11,363 contracts traded.

RBS Morgan private sector client adviser Bill Bishop said investors had regained some confidence in the market after Commonwealth Bank on Wednesday reported a record cash profit of $3.78 billion for the six months to December 31.

"I think the Commonwealth Bank result yesterday was just a strong vote of encouragement for the whole market," he said.

"That's given the rest of the market a bit of a shot in the arm.

"I think it's a quietly-confident day in a much more confident market than there was six months ago."

CBA wasn't able to hold on to all of its gains from Wednesday, with its stocks shedding 53 cents to $66.58.

It was a mixed bag for the other big four banks, with Westpac up 12 cents at $28.45, ANZ 13 cents higher at $27.94 but NAB dropping nine cents to $29.20.

The market was bolstered by the resources sector in early trade, with Rio Tinto shares up $1.62, or 2.3 per cent, to $72.08 ahead of the release of its full year results later on Thursday.

BHP Billiton was also higher, up 58 cents at $38.50.

Among the biggest movers was aluminum producer Alumina, whose shares soared 12.25 cents, or 10.21 per cent, to $1.3225, after Chinese financial company CITIC paid $452 million for a major stake in the company.

Stocks in engineering firm Downer EDI were up 47.5 cents, or 9.77 per cent, to $5.335, on the back of posting an 11 per cent rise in first half profit.

Among the retailers, David Jones' second quarter sales, which includes the vital Christmas period, fell 1.4 per cent, prompting its shares to lose 4.5 cents, or 1.68 per cent, to $2.63.

On the other hand, Wesfarmers' shares rose 36 cents, or 0.94 per cent, to $38.78, after it reported a nine per cent growth in first half profit, boosted by better earnings from Coles and Bunnings.

At 1218 AEDT, national turnover was 751.1 million securities worth $1.93 billion.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9293+0.0006+0.06%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.55350.00+0.01%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6722+0.0001+0.01%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg