The Australian market hit its sixth straight positive trading day as local investors ignored another negative day on Wall Street.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,569.50 +16.72 (+0.30%)
- All Ordinaries: 5,532.30 +15.74 (+0.29%)
- AUD/USD: 0.7866 -0.0021 (-0.27%)
In the US, Apple was up 5.7% after posting the highest quarterly profit in American corporate history. However, the overall market was weak with the S&P 500 index down 1.4%.
In Australia, the major banks were stronger or flat with the Commonwealth up 1.17% to $88.73. The energy sector fell 1.6% on the news that crude oil stockpiles in the US are at a record high.
The local market is 5% above last Tuesday’s close, according to CommSec, and at a five-month high.
The top stories on Thursday:
1. Fortescue flies again. The falling Aussie dollar and plummeting oil price have provided some much needed relief to Fortescue Metals Group which this morning released its December quarter results. Its shares were up more than 9% at $2.24.
2. Interest rates? Some are predicting the RBA will move on Tuesday next week to cut. However, Saul Eslake, the respected chief economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is going against much of the market to forecast the RBA will hold interest rates this year and then start raising them in 2016.
3. NAB Australian Wellbeing Index. Anxiety is at a new high in Australian homes as people worry about the cost of living, whether they can get good health care and whether they can keep their jobs.
4. Energy companies cut costs. Adelaide-based oil and gas explorer Beach Energy is cutting its capital spending by up to $55 million in response to plunging oil prices. Beach stocks were down more than 3% to $0.90.