The Australian market coasted to a flat but slightly positive close, ignoring falls on Wall Street but still not reaching the 6000 mark on the ASX 200 index.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,973.30 +4.22 (+0.07%)
- All Ordinaries: 5,937.10 +2.56 (+0.04%)
- AUD/USD: 0.7873 -0.0006 (-0.08%)
Wall Street closed weaker overnight with the S&P 500 losing 0.6%.
On the local market, seven out of the ten sectors were weaker. The miners were down with BHP losing 0.35% to $31.11 and Rio Tinto 0.94% to $56.83.
The banks, led by the ANZ up 0.9% to $39.30, were all stronger and helped balance the market.
The top stories on Wednesday:
1. The weather is working. Agribusiness Nufarm lifted first half profit by 23.1% to $23.152 million with more to come in the second half of the financial year. Its shares closed down 2.5% to $6.76.
2. Will be completed by next week. Shareholders at John Singleton’s Macquarie Radio Network today formally voted to approve a merger with Fairfax Media stations. Macquarie Radio shares were up 5% to $1.05. Fairfax was up 1% to $0.97.
3. Prices keep rising. Here’s what APRA and the RBA are doing to cool the housing market.
4. Please explain. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is investigating a call by Fortescue Metals chairman Twiggy Forrest for a cap to be put on iron ore production among the big miners, including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Brazil’s Vale. Fortescue shares closed 1.49% higher at $2.04.