Oil price gains fuel share market rise
The Australian share market closed higher as energy companies were boosted by higher oil prices.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 9.2 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 6,107 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 9.4 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 6,208.1 points.
CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said most sectors of the market posted gains, with energy leading the way after oil prices rose on concerns US sanctions on Iran will restrict the oil-rich country's crude exports.
"Retail stocks are also a stand out, which is largely due to Myer's quarterly update on sales which weren't fantastic but they were better than expected," Mr Daghlian said.
"The fact that none of the big banks were trading ex-dividend today, for the first time this week, has also helped."
Infant formula makers were among the worst performers after a weaker than expected revenue forecast from A2 Milk, while Telstra dropped slightly, its third straight fall following its warning that competition and the NBN are hurting earnings.
In the energy sector, Woodside Petroleum gained 1.6 per cent to $34.06, Santos rose 1.4 per cent to $6.32, Origin Energy gained 1.1 per cent to $9.73 and Oil Search was 0.5 per cent stronger at $8.51.
Myer gained 16 per cent to 43.5 cents after it reported a 3.1 per cent drop in like-for-like third quarter sales, a slight improvement on a 3.6 per cent fall in the second quarter.
JB Hi-Fi added 4.2 per cent to $23.30 and Super Retail Group was 3.8 per cent stronger at $8.29.
A2 Milk plunged 13.1 per cent to $10.54 and Bellamy's Australia shed 9.9 per cent to $17.31.
The Australian dollar weakened in overnight trade and briefly fell to a low of 74.47 US cents after the release of March quarter wage data that showed weaker-than-expected growth, which confirmed views that the Reserve Bank will leave interest rates on hold for a prolonged period.
It later recovered slightly as the US dollar's recent gains were pared back.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 9.2 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 6,107 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 9.4 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 6,208.1 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was up five points, or 0.08 per cent, at 6,105 points
* National turnover was 3.1 billion securities traded worth $7.5 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 74.84 US cents, from 75.18 US cents on Tuesday
* 82.47 Japanese yen, from 82.58 yen
* 63.21 euro cents, from 63.01 euro cents
* 55.40 British pence, from 55.45 pence
* 108.75 NZ cents, from 108.77 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,294.58 per fine ounce, from $US1,311.90 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
* CGS 5.75 per cent May 2021, 2.2191pct, from 2.199pct on Tuesday
* CGS 2.25pct May 2028, 2.8836pct, from 2.8302pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was 97.105 (implying a yield of 2.895pct), from 97.16 (2.84pct) on Tuesday
* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was 97.735 (2.265pct), from 97.76 (2.24pct)
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)
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