Australian stocks closed marginally higher for the week’s third session and are now within striking distance of 6000 points on the ASX 200 index.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,944.90 +17.91 (+0.30%)
- All Ordinaries: 5,908.60 +18.58 (+0.32%)
- AUD/USD: 0.7882 +0.0051 (+0.65%)
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed up 0.3%.
Locally, 6 out of 10 sectors edged higher. Dragging on the market was Telstra, which closed almost 2% down to $6.46 and Woodside Petroleum, down 4.3% to 34.91. Both were trading ex-dividend.
BHP was up 1.33% to $33.50. The banks were flat but QBE Insurance was up 4.8% to $13.05.
The top stories on Wednesday:
1. Wages growth in Australia is at 2.5%, the lowest since records began. And the pay rises are even smaller if you take inflation in to consideration.
2. Mining and media. Seven Group’s shares soared after slightly better than expected results and more share buybacks. The shares closed 10.8% higher to $6.85.
3. Shrinking revenue from the oil sector. Worley Parsons expects declines in the company’s revenue and gross margin. Its shares closed 12.2% down to $9.86.
4. Love for radio and regional TV. Revenue and profit slumped at Southern Cross Media in the first half as television advertising faded, but the network’s radio business was holding up. It shares closed 18.18% higher to $1.105.