ASX closes up for fifth straight day

The Australian share market has recovered from a lacklustre start to post gains for a fifth straight day, with every sector up aside from mining and consumer discretionary stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Tuesday up 21.8 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 6,695.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 19.7 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 6,801.7 points.

"It's a surprising positive day for the Australian share market," said CMC Markets chief market analysts Michael McCarthy.

The market was buoyed by a limited US-Japan free trade pact, which showed a US deal with China is possible, Mr McCarthy said.

Miners were mostly as base metal prices fell overnight, with BHP down 1.1 per cent to $37.89, Rio Tinto down 1.6 per cent to $92.65 and South32 down 2.9 per cent to $2.73.

Goldminers were subdued as the price of the precious metal dropped under US$1,500, with Evolution down 0.4 per cent but Newcrest up 1.0 per cent and Northern Star up 0.5 per cent.

The consumer discretionary sector fell 0.6 per cent as an ANZ-Roy Morgan survey indicated consumer confidence was at a two-year low.

Target and Kmart owner Wesfarmers dropped 0.8 per cent, Crown fell 1.1 per cent and JB Hi-Fi dropped 1.4 per cent.

The energy sector was up 1.0 per cent as oil prices continued to rise, with the price of Brent crude up $US1 to $US68.50.

Woodside was up 2 per cent, Santos up 1.2 per cent, and Oil Search up 0.4 per cent.

New Hope Corporation was down 2.4 per cent to $2.45 despite the coalminer announcing a 41 per cent increase in full-year profit.

The big four banks were all up, with Commonwealth up 0.7 per cent to $82.24, Westpac up 0.3 per cent to $29.63, ANZ up 0.5 per cent to $27.75 and NAB gaining 0.6 per cent to $29.30.

CIMIC was down 0.6 per cent after the construction and engineering company said it had secured a NSW government contract for a new underground CBD station as part of the Sydney Metro.

CSL pulled health care shares higher as the biotech giant gained 1.9 per cent to $234.82.

But Ramsay Health Care dropped 4.6 per cent to $62.20 after the Paul Ramsay Foundation sold off 22 million shares in a massive block trade to institutional investors.

Helloworld gained 6.3 per cent to $4.57 after the travel operator said it expects full-year earnings to rise as much as 12.5 per cent.

The local currency dropped against the US dollar after the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia's September 3 meeting minutes that reiterated the central bank was open to further cuts to the cash rate.

The Aussie dollar is buying 68.33 US cents from 68.73 US cents on Monday.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 21.8 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 6,695.3 points.

* The All Ordinaries closed up 19.7 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 6,801.7 points.

* The SPI200 futures index closed up two points, or 0.03 per cent, to 6,696.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST

One Australian dollar buys:

* 68.33 US cents, from 68.73 US cents on Monday

* 7392 Japanese yen, from 74.16 yen

* 62.10 euro cents, from 62.08 cents

* 55.06 British pence, from 55.18 pence

* 107.99 NZ cents, from 107.66 cents.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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