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Miners and banks extend market's run

Christian Edwards
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Australian shares have opened up half a per cent as positive sentiment sweeps through global indexes

Australian shares have opened up half a per cent as positive sentiment sweeps through global indexes

The share marker is higher for a fifth straight session as positive offshore leads contributed to gains for miners and banks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.24 per cent to 6,056.9 points, equalling a run of five straight gains posted in early January.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said investors were buying back into a positive global outlook after a busy period of financial results from local companies.

"We are getting a more even approach to trading and leads from US and European shares are being reflected in our market," Mr McCarthy said.

"It's a positive outlook for Australian investors, there is a clear sign that confidence is on the rise."

The financial sector lost some of its early strength in afternoon trade, but the big four lenders were still higher, led by ANZ's gain of 0.9 per cent.

Higher commodity prices supported the miners, with BHP Billiton up 0.8 per cent, South32 ahead 0.9 per cent, and BlueScope Steel 2.8 per cent stronger.

Rio Tinto climbed 1.3 per cent following its $345 million deal to sell European aluminium assets including an Icelandic smelter.

Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources rose 3.9 per cent after its annual revenue surged 39 per cent.

Caltex Australia met expectations with its full-year results and announced a plan to buyout its franchisees by 2020 for up to $120 million, and its shares gained 4.1 per cent.

Fruit and vegetable grower Costa Group jumped 10 per cent as it half-year profit lifted 15 per cent and the company upgraded its guidance for annual profit growth to 25 per cent.

The telco sector was the market's worst performer, and Telstra dropped 0.9 per cent.

The Australian dollar is slightly weaker against the US dollar, ahead of US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell's first questioning from US Congress since he took over from Janet Yellen.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 14.7 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 6,056.9 points

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 13.2 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 6,159.3 points

* The SPI200 futures contract was up 21 points, or 0.35 per cent, at 6,036 points.

* National turnover was 3.6 billion securities traded worth $8.2 billion.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.48 US cents, from 78.78 US cents on Monday

* 83.87 Japanese yen, from 83.92 yen

* 63.67 euro cents, from 63.91 euro cents

* 56.20 British pence, from 56.20 pence

* 107.71 NZ cents, from 107.39 NZ cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,333.07 per fine ounce, from $US1,339.81 per fine ounce on Monday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.9517pct, from 1.9551pct

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6983pct, from 2.7179pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.255 (implying a yield of 2.745pct), from 97.235 (2.765pct) on Monday

* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.935 (2.065pct) from 97.93 (2.07pct).

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