The local share market has risen for a third straight day, hitting a fresh 10-week high despite losses by CSL and Commonwealth Bank trading ex-dividend.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Wednesday finished up 22.3 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 7127.7, while the broader All Ordinaries finished up 19.2 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 7381.1.
“Overall it’s pretty positive. I think it was searching for direction early but after midday, was quite a solid day for the market,” said IG market analyst Hebe Chen, who cited two factors for the positive sentiment.
First, better than expected earnings overnight from Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, reinforced the idea that a recession is probably avoidable in the United States, she said.
Second, China is reportedly considering some economic stimulus measures to boost its economy after disappointing economic data last week, Ms Chen said.
But she added that “we kind of hear these similar things again and again (out of China) … so I always put a big question mark.”
Three of the ASX’s 11 official sectors were lower, utilities and financials were flat and six climbed with Walmart’s results giving retailers a boost.
CSL dropped 1.3 per cent to $292.50 after reporting a six per cent drop in full-year net profit to $US2.26 billion as the blood products giant faced higher costs to coax Americans to donate plasma.
Commonwealth Bank was also weighing on the market as it traded ex-dividend. Australia’s second-largest company was down $1.84, or 1.8 per cent, to $99.90 as it paid a 210 cent per share dividend.
The other big banks were higher with Westpac climbing 0.8 per cent to $22.52, NAB up 0.9 per cent to $31.32 and ANZ up 0.2 per cent to $23.87.
In the heavyweight mining sector, BHP and Rio Tinto both rose 0.8 per cent, to $40.85 and $96.74 respectively. Fortescue Metals was down 1.0 per cent to $19.23.
Kmart and Bunnings owner Wesfarmers gained 2.2 per cent to $48.97 following Walmart’s results. Just Jeans and Smiggle owner Premier Investments added 2.4 per cent to $22.34.
Also, Super Retail Group closed up 4.7 per cent to $10.70 after the Rebel Sports and Supercheap Auto owner beat expectations by delivering a full-year net profit after tax of $244.1 million.
Santos was down 2.4 per cent to $6.91 after reporting record full-year earnings while disclosing its Pikka oil project in Alaska would cost more than expected.
Brambles gained 5.1 per cent to $12.40 after the global pallet company said full-year profit after tax rose 14 per cent to $US593.3 million.
Redbubble plunged 31.4 per cent to $1.05 after the online print-on-demand marketplace posted a $24.6 million full-year loss, compared to a $31.2 million net profit the year before.
“Given our bottom line outcome, we are not at all satisfied with our result for the year,” Redbubble CEO Michael Ilczynski told analysts.
Nearmap rose 3.9 per cent to $2 after the aerial mapping company forecast it would end 2022/23 with a strong balance sheet of $66 million to $71 million.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 69.81 US cents, from 69.94 US cents at Tuesday’s close.
Looking forward, Ms Chen said the market will be closely watching Thursday’s release of Australian jobs data for July.
She expected unemployment to stay at very low levels, potentially dropping from the decades-low 3.5 per cent rate recorded for June.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Wednesday finished up 22.3 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 7127.7
* The broader All Ordinaries gained 19.2 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 7381.1.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 69.81 US cents, from 69.94 US cents at Tuesday’s close
* 94.10 Japanese yen, from 94.33 yen
* 68.74 Euro cents, from 69.09 cents
* 57.75 British pence, from 58.48 pence
* 110.45 NZ cents, from 110.58 cents.
(Australian Associated Press)