Business News

Banks and miners lift share market

The share market has gained ground after bargain hunters helped drive a rebound for the major banks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.2 per cent as the heavyweight financial and mining sectors posted gains.

The market had been weaker in morning trade, but a recovery by the banks drove the market’s bounce, Patersons Securities economist Tony Farnham said.

“People seem to be sniffing around sectors like the banks for bargains after their recent sell down,” he said.

NAB gained 1.6 per cent, Westpac rose one per cent, ANZ lifted 0.8 per cent and Commonwealth Bank was 0.7 per cent higher.

The market lacked leads from overseas given US, UK and Chinese equity markets were closed for public holidays, but better-than-expected building approval numbers drove gains by building products companies, Mr Farnham said.

Approvals for new home construction rose 4.4 per cent in April, surpassing market expectations of a 3.0 per cent rise.

Shares in Boral rose nearly 1.5 per cent to $6.83 and CSR gained 0.5 per cent to $4.21.

The Australian dollar got a modest bounce from the economic data.

The energy, retail, healthcare and telecommunication sectors of the share market were weaker.

Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search each fell one per cent, while in retail, Domino’s Pizza fell 1.4 per cent and Coles owner Wesfarmers was 0.8 per cent weaker.

Health insurer NIB was one of the worst performers, down nearly five per cent at a three-month low of $5.14, after the consumer watchdog launched Federal Court proceedings against the company, accusing NIB of failing to give customers notice of the removal of certain eye procedures from a program under which the insurer paid gap amounts to doctors.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 10.8 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 5,717.9 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 8.3 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 5,756 points.

* The June SPI200 futures contract was up nine points, or 0.16 per cent, at 5,722 points.

* National turnover was 1.9 billion securities traded worth $4.7 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 74.38 US cents, from 74.30 US cents on Monday

* 82.43 Japanese yen, from 82.66 yen

* 66.83 euro cents, from 66.53 euro cents

* 57.98 British pence, from 57.93 pence

* 105.36 New Zealand cents, from 105.18 NZ cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,268.18 per fine ounce, up 38 US cents from $US1,267.80 on Monday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.647pct, from 1.667pct on Monday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.391pct, from 2.411pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.575 (implying a yield of 2.425pct), from 97.55 (2.45pct) on Monday

* June 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.31 (1.69pct) from 98.28 (1.72pct)

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session)

Published on: Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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