SYDNEY/WELLINGTON: Australian shares rose for a fifth straight day on Wednesday, aided by banking and resources counters and by hopes of economic stimulus in some major countries.
At 0216 GMT, the S&P/ASX 200 index was up 15.88 points, or 0.3 percent to 5,369.1, below the day’s high of 5,389.3. The benchmark gained 0.3 percent on Tuesday as investors cheered the end of political roadblocks in Britain and at home.
But the Australian rally seems to be losing steam with analysts seeing strong resistance at 5,400 points. In May, the index briefly breached 5,400, but then fell back.
“It’s been almost 12 months since our index spent significant time above this level and the psychological impact of this number should not be underestimated,” said Gary Huxtable, client adviser at Atlantic Pacific Securities.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters in the past week predict the benchmark will touch 5,500 points by year-end, which would mean a 2016 gain of 3.9 percent after two years of dismal performance.
The index is up 1.4 percent so far this year.
On Wednesday, banks, resources and energy sectors helped lift the index while consumer discretionary, healthcare and telecom shares declined.
The major banks were mixed with ANZ Banking Group and National Australia Bank up 0.8 percent each while Westpac was down 0.1 percent.
Major miners BHP Billion and Rio Tinto rose more than 2 percent. Fortescue jumped 5.4 percent.
Wesfarmers, which owns Coles supermarket, was down 1.25 percent while Treasury Wines slipped 2.5 percent. Telecom giant Telstra fell 0.2 percent.
Gold miners were weak too with Newcrest Mining, Evolution Mining and Northern Star Resources tumbling between 3.5 and 6.1 percent.
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New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.08 percent or 5.54 points to 7,085.00 on Wednesday, after hitting a record of 7,088.920 the previous session.
Property companies led gains, with Investore Property leading the index and up 1.86 percent. Vital Healthcare rose 1.16 percent.
Online auction firm Trade Me was up 1.85 percent and Heartland Bank rose 0.8 percent.
Dairy companies also gained with A2 Milk rising 1.08 percent and shares in Fonterra’s fund, which provides exposure to the farmer-owned dairy exporter, up 0.74 percent.
Telecommunications company Spark led losses, falling 1.83 percent and Mighty River Power lost 1.29 percent.
Copyright Reuters, 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder