MARKET NEWS

Aust share market holds at six-year highs
31/07/2014 5:10 PM

The Australian share market has continued to hold above the 5,600-point mark - its highest level since the global financial crisis in 2008.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said that although the gains on Thursday did not look spectacular, the local bourse had put in a very strong performance, led by the major banks.

"Although it doesn't look like a spectacular performance today given the points move, it is a very strong performance," he said.

"We're holding onto the gains that have been made since we broke to new highs and that's important," Mr McCarthy said.

"Our previous experience at new highs is that we spent a little time hovering there, and then we've seen a corrective move - that hasn't occurred this time."

Mr McCarthy said some investors had been waiting for the local market to pull back from its recent run upwards but that reversal had not been forthcoming.

Those frustrated investors were now involved in "catch up" buying.

Mr McCarthy said surprisingly strong economic growth figures out of the United States had helped support the Australian market.

Argentina's debt default and US and European Union sanctions against Russia had had little impact.

US jobs figures on Friday and the start of the Australian company earnings season next week were likely to be the next major drivers for the Australian market.

Among the major banks, the Commonwealth Bank lifted 62 cents to $83.75, National Australia Bank added 14 cents to $35.32, Westpac gained 25 cents to $34.61, and ANZ advanced 11 cents to $33.97.

In the resources sector, BHP Billiton lost 32 cents to $38.68, Rio Tinto jumped 31 cents to $66.38, and Fortescue Metals dipped four cents to $4.92.

Woodside Petroleum dumped 36 cents at $42.52 as it appeared that the company may not gather enough support for a planned $US2.7 billion share buyback.

KEY FACTS

* On Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 10 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 5,632.9 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up eight points, or 0.14 per cent, at 5,623.1 points.

* The September share price index futures contract was eight points lower at 5,570 points, with 30,480 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 1.9 billion shares worth $4.0 billion.

* The price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,295.80 per fine ounce, down $US3.40 on Wednesday's price of $US1,299.20.

Aust share market holds at six-year highs
31/07/2014 4:38 PM

The Australian share market has continued to hold above the 5,600-point mark - its highest level since the global financial crisis in 2008.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said that although the gains on Thursday did not look spectacular, the local bourse had put in a very strong performance, led by the major banks.

"Although it doesn't look like a spectacular performance today given the points move, it is a very strong performance," he said.

"We're holding onto the gains that have been made since we broke to new highs and that's important," Mr McCarthy said.

"Our previous experience at new highs is that we spent a little time hovering there, and then we've seen a corrective move - that hasn't occurred this time."

Mr McCarthy said some investors had been waiting for the local market to pull back from its recent run upwards but that reversal had not been forthcoming.

Those frustrated investors were now involved in "catch up" buying.

Mr McCarthy said surprisingly strong economic growth figures out of the United States had helped support the Australian market.

Argentina's debt default and US and European Union sanctions against Russia had had little impact.

US jobs figures on Friday and the start of the Australian company earnings season next week were likely to be the next major drivers for the Australian market.

Among the major banks, preliminary closing figures indicated that the Commonwealth Bank lifted 62 cents to $83.75, National Australia Bank added 14 cents to $35.32, Westpac gained 25 cents to $34.61, and ANZ advanced 11 cents to $33.97.

In the resources sector, BHP Billiton lost 32 cents to $38.68, Rio Tinto jumped 31 cents to $66.38, and Fortescue Metals dipped four cents to $4.92.

Woodside Petroleum dumped 36 cents at $42.52 as it appeared that the company may not gather enough support for a planned $US2.7 billion share buyback.

KEY FACTS

* On Thursday at 1624 AEST, preliminary closing figures indicated that the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 10 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 5,632.9 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up eight points, or 0.14 per cent, at 5,623.1 points.

* The September share price index futures contract at 1625 AEST was six points lower at 5,572 points, with 29,641 contracts traded.

* Preliminary national turnover was 1.9 billion shares worth $4.0 billion.

Aust shares close higher
31/07/2014 4:20 PM

The Australian share market has closed higher, holding above the 5600 mark for the second straight session.

At the close on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 10.0 points, or 0.18 per cent, higher at 5,632.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 8.0 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 5,623.1, according to preliminary figures.

On the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was six points lower at 5,572, with 28,844 contracts traded.