THE ASX JUST HIT A 23 MONTH HIGH: Here's what you need to know

Photo: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

The ASX put on 0.4% today – possibly unremarkable, except that it leaves the ASX at a 23-month high.

The scoreboard:

ASX 200: 5,896.20 +22.68 +0.39%
All Ordinaries: 5,931.80 +21.10 +0.36%
AUD/USD: 0.7665 -0.0006 -0.08%

The ASX 200 outperformed its counterparts in Asia, with markets in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Shanghai all losing ground.

Today’s robust result followed a flat lead from Wall Street, as the Dow lost 0.2% while the S&P 500 gained 0.11%.

On the ASX, most of the major banks improved with NAB leading the way finishing 0.7% higher.

Energy stocks benefited from a jump in the oil price overnight, as Woodside gained 1.3% and Origin was up 0.7%. The big miners finished higher after the iron ore price rose for the second straight session.

Myer performed strongly, gaining over 2.7% after it was revealed following yesterday’s market close that billionaire Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments had purchased a 10.7% stake in the retailer.

Bellamy’s Australia, the maker of infant baby formula, dropped by 8.5% due to delays in getting its products registered for export by the China Food & Drug Administration. The company generates around 14% of sales from China.

Also today:

1. Aussie house price growth has slowed (except Sydney): Sydney was the only state in Australia in which property prices grew faster between between 2010 and 2017 than they did between 2000 and 2007.

2. Hard data aligning with soft data which shows US economy growing: In addition to improving soft data (surveys, sentiment indexes), Royal Bank of Canada has highlighted that economic fundamentals are also performing well in the US.

3. Tony Robbins says happiness depends on these two skills: In this video, Robbins talks about the importance of achievement and fulfilment in mastering the art of happiness.

4. Doves vs Hawks the world’s major central banks: With monetary policy still a key driver of markets, here’s a breakdown of which committee members think central bank policy should remain accommodative compared to those who advocate higher interest rates, across each of the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan

5. Perhaps Amazon isn’t so scary after all: here’s how Australian retailers have the capacity to Amazon’s entry into the Aussie market, if they are nimble enough to keep up with a changing industry.

6. Melbourne is catching Sydney in the population race: Population data from the ABS shows that Sydney’s population is now greater than 5,000,000, but Melbourne reported the highest percentage gain to the end of June 2016, rising by 2.4%.

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