STOCKS PUSH HIGHER: Australian investors aren't backing a Brexit

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When it comes to the UK’s EU referendum, Australian stock investors have already cast their vote: “Brexit” is off, “Bremain” is on, so it’s time to buy stocks. That’s exactly what happened on Thursday, continuing the trend from earlier in the week.

Here’s the final scoreboard.

  • ASX 200 5280.70 , 9.75 , 0.19%
  • All Ords 5358.60 , 9.07 , 0.17%
  • AUD/USD 0.753 , 0.003 , 0.40%
ASX 200 Hourly Chart

While the benchmark ASX 200 finished with a modest gain, it’s clear that most investors were content to sit out the session, preferring instead to wait for the official outcome of the referendum to arrive around lunchtime AEST on Friday.

The lack of selling in recent days, coupled with the substantial gains seen earlier this week, demonstrates a quiet confidence that a Brexit outcome will not prevail.

One highlight of the day was Fortescue; it’s share price rallied more than 8% after the company announced it had paid back another $US500 million in debt.

By sector, the gains were led by materials which put on a handy 1.62%, boosted by higher commodity prices and, in all likelihood, a lack of market liquidity.

Of the other major sectors, financials slipped by less than 0.1% while industrials, telecommunications and consumer discretionary shed 0.45%, 0.6% and 0.25% respectively.

In unison with the strong performance from materials, those losses were offset by gains of between 0.2% to 0.7% from energy, healthcare, consumer staples and and utilities.

In reality, little can be taken from the movements seen during the session. That, of course, will change on Friday as investors get their chance to react to the referendum outcome.

Here’s the performance of the top 20 stocks by market weighting on Thursday.

  • AMP , $5.37 , -1.29%
  • ANZ , $24.44 , 0.16%
  • BHP Billiton , $19.05 , 1.82%
  • Brambles , $12.60 , -0.87%
  • CBA , $75.02 , -0.07%
  • CSL , $109.03 , 0.39%
  • Insurance Australia Group , $5.73 , 0.00%
  • Macquarie , $76.58 , 0.60%
  • NAB , $25.58 , -0.16%
  • QBE Insurance , $11.69 , -0.26%
  • Rio Tinto , $45.80 , 2.74%
  • Scentre , $4.73 , 0.21%
  • Suncorp , $12.16 , -0.82%
  • Transurban , $11.86 , 0.76%
  • Telstra , $5.34 , -0.74%
  • Westpac , $29.65 , -0.07%
  • Wesfamers , $40.80 , 1.14%
  • Westfield Corporation , $10.85 , 0.28%
  • Woolworths , $20.85 , -0.71%

The top stories Thursday.

1. It looks like markets have decided there’ll be no Brexit. Yes, it’s not just Australian stock investors who are thinking that.

2. Here’s when the Brexit results will drop in Australia. It’s best not to make any firm lunch plans.

3. LIVE: BRITAIN IS ABOUT TO VOTE IN THE HISTORIC EU REFERENDUM. Rolling coverage of all the happenings related to the EU Referendum.

4. Every tax season the Australian Tax Office has a specific set of targets, and this year it’s work-related expenses. To ensure you don’t get caught out this tax time, Business Insider has pulled together a list of items the ATO will be targeting.

5. “This is a bubble. A very big bubble. And it is going to end in tears,” says Paul Ashworth, Capital Economics’ chief North America economist. No, he’s not talking about Australia’s property market, but Canada’s.

6. Listen to this Icelandic soccer announcer go berserk as his team pulls off a stunning upset. Even comes complete with a translation. “Thanks for coming Austria, thanks for coming!”

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