The local bourse has gained ground for a fourth consecutive session, with the mining giants leading the way as iron ore prices rebound as China plans to reopen from its harsh COVID-19 lockdowns.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished on Wednesday up 70.2 points, or 1.0 per cent, to 7,182.7, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 76 points, or 1.0 per cent, to 7,426.6.
“It looks like the market is very much on a risk on mode, and once again, a very positive lead on Wall Street, where the S&P500 was up by two per cent,” said Burman Invest founder and chief investment officer Julia Lee.
US markets dipped initially after Fed chairman Jerome Powell told a financial forum “there could be some pain” as the Fed tries to tackle inflation, but solid retail sales and industrial output figures may have helped bolster investor sentiment, Ms Lee said.
“The comments in the US are just helping to reinforce that there’s not going to be aggressive action over there,” Ms Lee said, referring to interest rate hikes.
“It does like the market may have been too bearish in the short term.”
All of the ASX’s 11 sectors except consumer staples and financials were up on Wednesday.
The heavyweight mining sector rose the most, by 2.5 per cent, on the rebounding iron ore prices.
BHP gained 3.2 per cent to $47.01, Rio Tinto was up 2.1 per cent to $108.86 and Fortescue Metals was up 2.0 per cent to $19.78 after announcing leadership changes.
Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest will take the reins of the company he founded almost two decades ago after an extensive global search for a new leader failed to yield a better alternative.
Mr Forrest would be appointed executive chairman of Fortescue for an interim period to help drive the company’s transition when current chief executive Elizabeth Gaines exits the role in August.
The big banks were mostly down, with NAB falling 0.6 per cent to $31.28 and CBA down 0.3 per cent to $104.80. Westpac fell two cents to $24.44 while ANZ rose 0.9 per cent to $25.84.
Tech names rose, collectively rising 1.9 per cent, while the traditionally defensive consumer staples sector fell 1.0 per cent. Coles dropped 1.4 per cent and Woolies fell 1.1 per cent.
Eagers Automotive fell 3.3 per per cent to a one and a half year low of $11.12 after the automotive retail group said that vehicle supply issues were cutting into its earnings.
New car shipments have been impacted by semiconductor shortages, the war in Ukraine and China’s lockdowns, the company said.
Eagers said it expects to make $183 million to $189 million in profit this half-year, compared to $214.8 million during the same period last year.
Boral dropped 3.1 per cent to a more than one year low of $3.11 after downgrading its previous full-year earning guidance, citing the extraordinary rainfall in NSW and Queensland and rising energy prices.
The construction material company now expects to make $45 million less than the $145 million to $155 million previously forecast.
Kiwi business travel platform Serko fell 4.9 per cent to a one-year low of $4.07 after announcing revenue increased 12 per cent to NZ$18.9 million in the 12 months to March 31.
AnteoTech had soared 38 per cent to a one-month high of 13 cents after the Queensland company’s updated COVID rapid antigen test (RAT) received regulatory approval in Europe.
The Australian dollar was buying 70.12 US cents, up from 70.11 cents at Tuesday’s close.
ON THE ASX:
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished up 70.2 points, or 0.99 per cent, to close at 7,182.7 on Wednesday.
The All Ordinaries index gained 76 points, or 1.03 per cent, to 7,426.6.
One Australian dollar buys:
70.12 US cents, from 70.11 US cents when the ASX closed on Tuesday.
90.58 Japanese yen, from 90.66 yen.
66.67 Euro cents, from 67.00 cents.
56.39 British pence, from 56.54 pence.
110.35 NZ cents, from 110.58 NZ cents.
(Australian Associated Press)