The Australian market closed higher.
Here’s today’s scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 4,910.00 +66.54 +1.37%
- All Ordinaries: 4,961.60 +68.16 +1.39%
- AUD/USD: 0.7150 +0.0011 +0.15%
Local stocks added weight for the second session in a row, rallying toward the close as the China market, back from a Lunar New Year holiday break, headed higher. Wall Street was closed for a public holiday.
The ASX 200 has risen 3% so far this week but is still down 7.3% since the start of 2016.
Today the Commonwealth Bank was down more than 5% in early trade as it went ex-dividend but made up some lost ground to close 2.29% weaker at $72.60. The other major banks were all higher with the ANZ bank up 1.88% to $23.27.
Higher iron ore prices translated into an almost 10% rise for Fortescue Metals which closed at $1.875.
Energy stocks surged, with Woodside Petroleum up 5.69% to $29.54, Santos 5.9% to $3.410 and LNG 15% to $0.61. The big miners also rallied with BHP adding 3.8% to $16.59.
The top stories Tuesday:
1. An increase in the GST rate is off the table. Malcolm Turnbull has killed off the idea.
2. Bad debts on way down. NAB, fresh from the $3.2 billion demerger its UK business, has posted an 8% rise in cash profit to $1.7 billion for the December quarter. NAB shares closed up 0.93% to $24.98.
3. The third $100 stock. Blood products group CSL, one of Australia’s three $100 plus stocks, posted a 3.8% rise in half year profit to $US718.8 million. CSL shares were up 1.5% to $106.00.
4. Coming good. Pacific Brands has returned to profit and paying dividends, helped by strong sales of its Bonds underwear and Sheridan sheets. Pacific Brand shares added more than 10% to $0.86.
5. Stem cell treatment. A trial of Mesoblast’s stem cell product has been show to be effective for rheumatoid arthritis. Its shares closed 15.8% higher at $1.35.
6. Job cuts at Iluka Resources. The mineral sands miner is suspending zircon mining and processing at its Jacinth-Ambrosia operation in the Eucla Basin, South Australia. Iluka closed 0.6% higher at $6.73.
7. Chris Corrigan’s Qube. Ports and rail freight company Asciano has recommended the $9.1 billion Qube takeover, pushing aside the bid by Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure.
8. There is a plan. Reckon is the underdog in the intensely competitive accounting software clouds wars, third behind the other two ASX-listed players Xero and MYOB. Reckon closed down 11.7% to $1.80.
9. That tax break. Some facts about who uses negative gearing, from the RBA. Also read: What Australia’s population hitting 24 million means for the property market. And: This guy with 15 negatively geared properties is worried changes might cause a housing crash.
10. Upmarket nosebag. REVIEW: Noma in Sydney takes Australian native cuisine to the next level, but hits one crucial hurdle.