Gains for materials, banking sector, and energy stocks have lifted the ASX at Thursday’s open, following a strong overnight performance by Wall Street on the back of rising US Treasury yields.
The Aussie dollar slid further, however, and was buying 70.96 US cents at 1030 AEST on Thursday, having plummeting more than a per cent overnight from Wednesday’s close of 71.81 US cents.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index is up 33.6 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 6,179.7 after the open, while the broader All Ordinaries is up 32.8 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 6,298.0.
Rising oil prices has seen energy stocks gain ground for a third straight session, with Origin Energy up 1.96 per cent to $8.585, Oil Search Limited up 0.55 per cent to $9.10, Woodside Petroleum up 0.83 per cent to $38.98, and Caltex up 1.17 per cent to $30.34.
The banks also lifted the local market on Thursday, taking a lead from the US, where strong economic data fuelled a rise in Treasury yields and lifted financial stocks.
NAB and Westpac were the best performers of the big four at the open, rising 1.07 per cent each to $27.49 and $27.44 respectively, while Commonwealth Bank was up 0.88 per cent to $70.22 and ANZ up 1.02 per cent to $27.72.
Copper prices may have fallen overnight, but shares in mining giant BHP were up one per cent after it predicted China’s overseas expansion would boost copper use by 1.6 million tonnes, or roughly seven per cent of annual demand.
Rio Tinto shares were flat at $79.52.
Soaring aluminium prices, following the closure of Norsk Hydro’s Alunorte refinery in Brazil, have helped to lift South32 shares by 6.57 per cent to $4.22, but a dip in the gold price has seen Northern Star, Evolution, and Newcrest Mining retrace yesterday’s gains.
Gold prices softened overnight after the Italian government indicated it was open to trimming its budget deficit and debt, easing investors’ fears over stocks and other higher-risk assets.
In other company news, the Bank of Queensland’s full-year profit has slipped five per cent, falling to $336 million despite a decrease in faulty loans, while fund manager Magellan Financial Group has announced a role-swap for its chairman and chief executive at its AGM.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release international goods and services trade data for August at 1130 AEST.