Markets cautiously edge higher

The share market has managed to end just shy of seven-week lows as investors cautiously pushed the market higher.

The All Ordinaries gained seven points to 4,411, while the ASX 200 added a 0.2 per cent to 4,388.

The major banks saw the biggest gains, enjoying a recovery after plunging yesterday.

Throughout the day NAB rose as much as 1.5 per cent, but ended well off this high, up 0.6 per cent, with similar gains to the Commonwealth and ANZ With so much uncertainty swirling around US and European markets, defensive stocks continued to perform well, with the utilities, telecoms and consumer staples sectors among the leaders.

Telstra rose another 0.5 per cent on Wednesday to $4.12.

But dragging on the market were the resource and energy sectors, with BHP Billiton ending down a few cents.

Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group managed to buck the trend, with Rio adding 0.33 per cent and Fortescue gaining 0.75 per cent.

The iron ore miner says it will decide next month whether to restart a major expansion at Kings mine in the Pilbara, which was shelved after the collapse of the iron ore price.

The fallout from the problems at BrisConnections continues, with Leighton Holdings dropping 1.7 per cent because of its investment in the struggling toll road operator.

Seven West Media gained nearly 3 per cent today, on top of yesterday's 11 per cent gain following yesterday's AGM where management talked about protecting profits at any cost.

The Australian dollar was around half a cent higher than that at the close of trade Tuesday, buying 104.46 US cents.

On the cross rates it was at 82.1 euro cents, 65.7 British pence and 83 Japanese yen.

On commodity markets, at the close of trade West Texas crude was worth $US85, Tapis was flat at $US113, while spot gold was slightly higher at $US1,727 an ounce.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9327-0.0042-0.45%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5553-0.0024-0.44%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6750-0.0031-0.46%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg