Australian stocks coasted to flat close after opening sharply down on falling iron ore prices and fears of another looming sell-off in China.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,471.00 +1.47 +0.03%
- All Ordinaries: 5,456.30 -0.18 0.00%
- AUD/USD: 0.7485 +0.0058 +0.78%
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 slumped 1.7% overnight. This helped pushed the local market and all ten sectors down, at one stage dropping more than 1.5% in value and falling below 5400 points on the ASX 200.
But the market was lifted higher by a surge on China markets. Seven out of ten local sectors closed higher.
Mining stocks carried the day, reacting to better news from China. BHP was up 1.77% to $25.88, Rio Tinto 1.66% to $50.89 and Fortescue Metals 6.57% to $1.785. BHP spinoff S32 was up 1.74% to $1.755.
At the close, the banks were all weaker but off their earlier lows. Westpac was down 0.84% to $32.88, the NAB 0.6% to $33.13, The Commonwealth 0.2% to $85.60 and the ANZ 0.19% to $32.21.
The top stories Thursday:
1. Official jobs numbers for June beat expectations. Those employed increased by 7,300. Unemployment rose to 6.0% from a downward-revised 5.9% rate of May. Nearly 300,000 jobs have been created since the coalition took office.
3. Telstra will spend $5 billion over the next three years to extend 4G to 99% of the Australian populations, to cope with an explosion in video and to maintain its leadership position on mobile. Telstra shares closed up 0.33% to $6.18.
4. A change in business focus is working. Caltex’s profits are up as it becomes more a fuel supplier than an oil refiner. Half year profit up 45% to $251 million. Caltex shares closed down 1.44% to $32.89.
5. Quickstep was one of the few stocks to rise in a falling market today as the carbon fibre parts manufacturer announced a global automotive parts deal. It closed up 1.74% to $0.175.