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Rally sends market well above 6,000 points

Trevor Chappell
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The Australian share market has opened solidly higher

The Australian share market has opened solidly higher

The share market has closed higher for a third straight session as a lift in iron ore prices boosted miners and most of the big banks gained ground.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.55 per cent to 6,049.4 points.

Phillip Capital senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said each of the top 20 stocks gained value, with the exception of National Australia Bank, which traded ex-dividend.

The remaining banks bounced on the back of an encouraging trading update from the Commonwealth Bank on Wednesday, he said.

"The market rose by four per cent in October and that was followed by a two per cent rise in the first seven days of this month - if nothing else we've got momentum on our side," Mr Heffernan said.

National Australia Bank dropped $1.07, or 3.4 per cent, to $30.58, while Commonwealth Bank gained 0.8 per cent to $80.94, ANZ also gained 0.8 per cent to $30.34 and Westpac was 1.3 per cent stronger at $33.17.

BHP Billiliton added 0.5 per cent to $28.63, Rio Tinto added 0.5 per cent to $74.64, while Fortescue Metals dipped 0.4 per cent to $4.88.

Gas producer Santos retreated 2.7 per cent to $4.65 after it forecast production to be largely stable in 2018 and tipped sales to be lower than its 2017 volumes.

James Hardie surged $1.44, or 7.6 per cent, to $20.39 after the building materials supplier tipped a likely increase in full year operating profit and said it expects to be ready for a rapid expansion in Europe in the next 12 months after its acquisition of Germany's Fermacell.

Flight Centre jumped 92 cents, or two per cent, to $47.45 after it forecast growth in its half year and full year underlying profit.

Domino's Pizza fell $1.67, or 3.5 per cent, to $46.43, after the company on Wednesday maintained its sales growth forecasts for Australia, NZ and Japan, and upgraded its forecast for Europe.

The Australian dollar's overnight rise against the US dollar was temporarily reversed after the release of data showing the number of home loan approvals unexpectedly fell 2.3 per cent in September.

But the local currency regained lost ground after the release of Chinese inflation data an hour later.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 33.1 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 6,049.4 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 33.3 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 6,122.4 points.

* The SPI200 futures contract was up 45 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 6,043 points.

* National turnover was 5.7 billion securities traded worth $7.2 billion.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 76.79 US cents, from 76.53 on Wednesday

* 87.22 Japanese yen, from 87.11 yen

* 66.18 euro cents, from 66.00 euro cents

* 58.47 British pence, from 58.14 pence

* 110.39 NZ cents, from 110.69 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,283.66 per fine ounce, from $US1,277.81 per fine ounce on Wednesday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.853pct from 1.8469pct

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.5487pct, from 2.5253pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.385 (implying a yield of 2.615pct), from 97.41 (implying a yield of 2.59pct) on Wednesday

* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.04 (1.96pct), from 98.05 (1.95pct).

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)