ASX opens higher; big banks and miners up
Energy stocks were the biggest gainers, collectively up 4.2 per cent, followed by tech stocksThe Australian share market has risen by more than one per cent for a second straight day as sentiment cautiously improved for the country’s economic prospects.The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished Tuesday on the highs of the day up 87.3 points, or…
At a glance:
The Australian share market has risen by more than one per cent for a second straight day as sentiment cautiously improved for the country’s economic prospects.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished Tuesday on the highs of the day up 87.3 points, or 1.64 per cent, to 5,407.1, while the All Ordinaries index gained 88.6 points, or 1.64 per cent, to 5,478.1.
“Sentiment has been very positive, we’ve seen a fair bit of strength across the growth markets,” said Jun Bei Liu, portfolio manager for the Tribeca Alpha Plus fund.
Optimism ticked up as companies like Santos, Oil Search, Domain, Polynovo, Fortescue Metals and Zip explained at the Macquarie Australia Conference how they were navigating the coronavirus crisis.
“Most companies that spoke saw their share price go higher,” Ms Liu said.
That’s not surprising as global investors rely on the conference to find Australian companies to invest in, she added.
Zip climbed 10.6 per cent, PolyNovo rallied 11.2 per cent, Domain rose 6.7 per cent, Fortescue gained 2.2 per cent, Santos gained five per cent and Oil Search rose 3.1 per cent.
Elsewhere, Prime Minister Scott Morrison talked about the importance of preserving jobs and making workplaces “COVID safe” so they can reopen following a national cabinet meeting.
Every sector was up except for health care with energy rising the most, by 4.2 per cent, following a three per cent gain in Brent crude prices.
Woodside gained 4.4 per cent to $21.89, Caltex Australia gained 2.8 per cent to $24.35 and Cooper Energy rose 6.3 per cent to 42.5 cents.
All big four banks had a strong day, with NAB up 3.2 per cent to $16.99, Westpac up 2.7 per cent to $16.20, ANZ up 1.9 per cent to $16.45 and CBA up 1.6 per cent to $60.85.
The heavyweight mining sector rose 2.5 per cent, with BHP up 2.7 per cent to $30.69 and Rio Tinto up 1.8 per cent to $82.75.
Goldminers rose as well with Newcrest, Evolution and Northern Star all up between 2.7 and 3.6 per cent.
Heath care fell 0.4 per cent as CSL dipped 0.5 per cent to $305.72, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare dropped 1.7 per cent to $26.16 and ResMed declined 3.1 per cent to $23.85.
Medical Developments rose 8.6 per cent after its Penthrox “green whistle” pain-relieving inhaler was approved in the Netherlands and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Qantas gained 1.7 per cent to $1.70 after securing another $550 million in debt funding against three of its Boeing 787-9s.
Collins Foods was the biggest ASX200 gainer, rising 11.6 per cent to $7.68 after announcing sales at its Australian KFC restaurants were only down marginally in the last five weeks.
Kathmandu rose 10.6 per cent to 78.5 cents after announcing it would re-open most of its Australian stores this week.
Building products manufacturer James Hardie rose 4.9 per cent to $21.82 after suspending its dividend and tightening its profit guidance.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar didn’t react much to the Reserve Bank keeping the cash rate on hold at a record low 0.25 per cent, as expected.
One Australian dollar was buying 64.45 US cents, up from 63.90 US cents at Monday’s close.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed Tuesday up 87.3 points, or 1.64 per cent, at 5,407.1 points
* The All Ordinaries closed up 88.6 points, or 1.64 per cent, at 5,478.1 points
* At 1732 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up six points, or 0.11 per cent, at 5,422 points
One Australian dollar buys:
* 64.46 US cents, from 63.90 US cents on Monday
* 68.83 Japanese yen, from 68.22 yen
* 59.18 euro cents, from 58.40 cents
* 51.76 British pence, from 51.33 pence
* 106.31 NZ cents, from 105.89 cents.