The Australian share market is at its highest level in more than 10 years, with significant gains across most sectors as investors looked past fears of a looming trade war between the US and China.
Thursday, 21st June, 2018
The ASX200 index was up 59.5 points, or 0.96 percent, at 6,232.1 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 58.3 points, or 0.93 percent, at 6,332.9 points.
Following on from strong leads overnight in overseas markets, local shares opened higher and continued to climb throughout the day. Consumer stocks rose on Thursday, as the federal Coalition government's $144 billion income tax cuts package cleared Parliament around noon. Under the first of three stages in the plan, low- and middle-income earners will get tax relief of up to $530 a year from July 1, while benefits for people earning up to $200,000 come into effect in 2024. Woolworths ended the day up 1.8 percent, or 5.3 cents at $29.94, while Coles supermarkets owner Wesfarmers was up 2.6 percent, or $1.25 to $48.78. Penfolds wine maker Treasury Wine Estates and poker machine maker Aristocrat Leisure were up too as companies with significant operations overseas, and therefore an exposure to changes in exchange rates, benefited from a lower Aussie dollar.
The Australian dollar remains under pressure as trade tensions simmer, trading at 73.51 US cents, from 73.99 on Wednesday - it's lowest level since May, 2017.
Telstra suffered losses for the second day in a row after announcing a restructure on Wednesday that includes slashing 8000 jobs. The telco was down 1.8 percent at $2.72. In other company news, private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care ended down 7.5 percent at $57.49 after it downgraded its full year earnings guidance due to weaker growth in patient numbers and medical procedures. The company has also warned it will take a $125 million charge on its UK operations due to onerous leases or asset writedowns.
The big four banks were all stronger, led by Commonwealth Bank's gain of 1.4 percent at $72.90, while BHP Billiton is the strongest of the big miners, up 0.5 percent at $32.76.
|Equities / Fixed Interest||Close||Change||% Change|
|Currency||Close||Pts Change||% Change|
|$A vs $US||0.7353||-0.0018||-0.24|
|$A vs GBP||0.5595||
|$A vs EUR||0.6366||0.0002||0.03|
|$A vs YEN||81.33||0.25||0.31|
|$A vs $NZ||