A solid day for the big banks and consumer-facing companies has lifted the local share market, although the gains faded somewhat in the final minutes of trading.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost about 20 points in the final half-hour of trade to finish up 26.4 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 7,155.2. The broader All Ordinaries closed higher by 18.5 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 7,391.7.
“We rallied from the outset, and we just sort of trickled along since then after that hour of power,” Pepperstone head of research Chris Weston told AAP shortly before the close.
“No one trusts this market. It feels dark, it feels sinister to buy. All the news flow is about global slowdowns, China lockdowns, higher rates.”
But the big banks did rise again for a second day, with NAB up 1.8 per cent to $31.66, Westpac up 1.4 per cent to $23.87 and both CBA and ANZ up by 1.0 per cent, to $106.17 and $25.63, respectively.
Telstra added 1.6 per cent, Woolworths added 1.9 per cent, Coles advanced 1.2 per cent and Kmart owner Wesfarmers added 1.1 per cent as consumer companies rebounded from last week’s selloff.
BHP closed at $43.02, down 10 per cent from Tuesday as its shares went ex-dividend from the demerger of its oil business to Woodside. Adjusted for that, it was up 1.1 per cent.
Woodside was up 0.7 per cent to $29.18 as the oil and gas producer transitioned to a new name and ticker code. It’s now known as Woodside Energy Group, rather than Woodside Petroleum.
Rio Tinto added 1.4 per cent to $111.96 and Evolution advanced 3.5 per cent, with smaller gains for goldmining peers Northern Star and Newcrest.
Tech shares were down sharply again, collectively falling 3.0 per cent, as Afterpay owner Block fell 5.5 per cent, Computershare fell 4.8 per cent and Tyro Payments fell 1.5 per cent to an all-time closing low of 99 cents.
“In this market you’ve got a general grey cloud hanging over tech,” Mr Weston told AAP. “People don’t want to be in that space.”
An overnight profit warning from Snapchat owner Snap Inc that sent its New York Stock Exchange-listed shares tumbling 43.1 per cent may have hurt sentiment, although Mr Weston wasn’t sure if that was a factor in the selloff.
Airtasker rebounded after recently hitting an all-time low, climbing 8 per cent to 40.5 cents, after the online services marketplace completed its acquisition of home improvement marketplace Oneflare.
Worley was up 0.7 per cent to $14.85 after the engineering company won a bid to build a plant in Nebraska that’ll use vegetable oil to make diesel fuel, as well as another contract in the UAE.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare slid 2.3 per cent to $18.29 after the Kiwi respiratory products company declined to give any guidance for fiscal 2023, given the uncertainty over further COVID surges and the possibility its hospital customers might face more personnel shortages.
The Aussie dollar was buying 71.11 US cents, from 70.90 cents at Tuesday’s close.
ON THE ASX:
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished 26.4 points higher, or 0.37 per cent, to 7,155.2.
The All Ordinaries index closed up 18.5 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 7,391.7.
One Australian dollar buys:
71.11 US cents, from 70.90 US cents when the ASX closed on Tuesday.
90.38 Japanese yen, from 90.43 yen.
66.55 Euro cents, from 66.36 cents.
56.71 British pence, from 56.31 pence.
109.30 NZ cents, from 109.98 NZ cents.
(Australian Associated Press)