ASX gains 1.9 pct for best day in a month: Wednesday 15 July

Derek Rose
(Australian Associated Press)


The local bourse has enjoyed its best day in nearly a month, with all sectors posting gains as investors looked past worries about a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished on the highs of the day on Wednesday, up 111.8 points, or 1.88 per cent, at 6,052.9 points, while the All Ordinaries index rose 114.9 points, or 1.9 per cent, at 6,160.4.

“The market is pretty much green everywhere,” said Tribeca Investment Partners portfolio manager Jun Bei Liu.

“It certainly has recovered from the marginal weakness we saw yesterday.”

Ms Liu saw no one specific reason for the gains – the best since a 3.9 per cent rally on June 16 – other than a strong lead from Wall Street, where the Dow gained 2.1 per cent.

“As we head into reporting season, the mood feels a little bit more positive,” she said.

“It just feels like the amount of fiscal support is there, and the earnings announcements that have started so far look reasonably positive.”

Mining, health care, tech stocks and consumer discretionary shares were collectively the biggest winners, with all four sectors gaining between 2.6 to 2.8 per cent.

Mining titan BHP gained 2.5 per cent to $38, Rio Tinto was up 3.7 per cent to $104.98 and Fortescue Metals climbed 3.4 per cent to an all-time high of $16.03.

With the price of gold creeping up to $U1,806, goldminers also had a strong day.

Northern Star added 3.0 per cent to an all-time high of $14.95, Newcrest advanced 2.3 per cent to $33.26 and Evolution was up 0.7 per cent to $6.04.

Blood products giant CSL had its best day since late May, gaining 3.0 per cent to $287.33.

In the red-hot buy now, pay later space, Afterpay added 2.4 per cent to $68.16 after striking deals to allow customers to use Apple Pay and Google Pay phone-tap functionality to pay with Afterpay.

But rival Zip Co declined 6.9 per cent to $6.57 after reporting that full-year revenue rose 91 per cent to $161.2 million, while Sezzle fell 7.8 per cent to $6.90.

Ms Liu said profit-blamed profit-taking. “Obviously, the sector has done incredibly well,” she said.

The big banks were all up, with CBA climbing 1.4 per cent to $72.73, ANZ up 1.3 per cent to $18.66, Westpac adding 0.8 per cent to $17.98 and NAB gaining 0.4 per cent to $18.18.

Woodside Petroleum fell 2.2 per cent to $20.96 after flagging a $6.3 billion writedown and recording weak quarterly output amid a coronavirus-induced slump in oil prices.

Origin Energy gained 1.6 per cent to $5.84 after it outlined impairments of $1.2 billion.

The Australian dollar meanwhile was trading at 70.10 US cents, close to a one-month high and up from 69.54 US cents on Tuesday.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Wednesday closed up 111.8 points, or 1.88 per cent, at 6,052.9 points

* The All Ordinaries closed up 114.9 points, or 1.9 per cent, at 6,160.4 points

* At 1803 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was down 14 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 6,017 points


One Australian dollar buys:

* 70.09 US cents, from 69.32 US cents on Tuesday

* 75.07 Japanese yen, from 74.37 yen

* 61.26 euro cents, from 61.18 cents

* 55.58 British pence, from 55.36 pence

* 106.83 NZ cents, from 106.37 cents.


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