CSL leads ASX to three-month closing high

The Australian share market has finished at a three-month closing high after a broad rally led by CSL and three of the four big banks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed on Monday up 48.4 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 6,772.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 43.8 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 6,877 points.

Although ASX200 briefly traded higher on September 20, it was the index's highest close since it finished at 6,780.6 on August 1.

"We're back in record territory," said Bell Direct market analyst Jessica Amir.

"Most of the market is pushing forward today."

CSL accounted for more than a quarter of the index's gains, closing up 3.5 per cent to hit another all-time high of $270.56 after a broker upgraded its price target to $295.

The biotech giant pulled the sector 2.8 per cent higher, with Starpharma, Clinuvel, Pro Medicus, Mayne Pharma and Sigma Health chipping in as well with gains of between 3.7 and 6.6 per cent.

ANZ, trading ex-dividend, dropped 2.6 per cent to $25.58 but the other big banks were up sharply.

NAB climbed 1.4 per cent to $28.87, Commonwealth gained 1.1 per cent to $80.05 and Westpac rose 1.3 per cent to $27.78.

Afterpay rose 4.6 per cent to $28.20, also on a broker upgrade.

Mining was the only sector to drop - it fell 0.4 per cent - after the price of iron ore hit a nine-month low.

Fortescue Metals dropped 5.5 per cent to $9.05, Rio Tinto was down 2.4 per cent to $92.98 and BHP dropped 0.3 per cent to $37.18

Goldminers were mixed, with Newcrest gaining 1.9 per cent and Evolution climbing 0.3 per cent while Northern Star was flat and Saracen dropped 0.6 per cent.

Pilbara Minerals entered a trading halt after "an incident at site requiring investigation," the lithium miner said, without further explanation.

Elders finished up 4.8 per cent to $6.35 after the agribusiness said new acquisitions Titan pesticides and Livestock in Transit insurance had helped offset drought-ravaged crop volumes.

Domain Holdings gained 5.1 per cent to $3.28 after the real estate classifieds group said it would pay up to $35 million for the operator of digital property service Real Time Agent.

The property sector was the second biggest gainers of the day, behind health care, rising 1.3 per cent, with Goodman Group up 1.8 per cent, Stockland gaining 2.1 per cent and Scentre Group up 1.0 per cent.

Bubs Australia rose 4.7 per cent to $1.12 striking a deal to have its goat milk infant formula and organic baby food products distributed in Vietnam's largest mother and baby store chain, Bibo Mart.

EML Payments went into a trading halt so the Brisbane-based prepaid card company could raise $250 million to buy London-based Prepaid Financial Services.

The Aussie dollar is buying 68.53 US cents, from 68.82 US cents on Friday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 48.4 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 6,772.5 points

* The All Ordinaries closed down 43.8 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 6,877 points.

*The SPI200 futures index closed up 66 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 6,765.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 68.55 US cents, from 68.82 US cents on Friday

* 74.72 Japanese yen, from 75.20 yen

* 62.18 euro cents, from 62.28 cents

* 53.57 British pence, from 53.72 pence

* 107.99 NZ cents, from 108.13 cents.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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