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CSL drives ASX broad-based rally


Investors have steered a broad-based rally on the Australian share market after they found no nasty surprises in Reserve Bank meeting notes.

The market was nearly half a per cent higher on Tuesday despite Omicron worries prompting losses of about one per cent on Wall Street overnight.

The ASX increased gains after minutes from the RBA December 7 meeting showed board members discussed increasing numbers of workers changing jobs and gaining higher pay.

Yet professionals in the private sector are the only ones to have enjoyed substantial gains.

The central bank is on course to scale back or stop its bond-buying in February, which has helped the economy through the pandemic.

The best performing shares were healthcare ones. Market giant CSL was up three per cent to $282.07 having sold shares to fund a takeover of Vifor Pharma.

Energy shares were next best after they lost more than three per cent on Monday. Beach and Santos each gained about one and a half per cent.

Technology shares were the worst performers and dropped 0.41 per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 33.8 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 7326 points at 1245 AEDT on Tuesday.

The All Ordinaries was higher by 32.5 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 7634.7 points.

The coronavirus Omicron variant continues to drive infections higher in Europe and the US. Denmark has reintroduced restrictions while the Netherlands has re-entered lockdown.

In ASX news, Australian Clinical Labs was one of the better performers after strong demand for its coronavirus testing services.

The company joined the ASX this year and has upgraded its first-half sales and profit forecast. The latter will be between $116.3 million and $128 million.

Shares were higher by a little more than eight per cent to $5.40.

Ardent Leisure has ended talks with a developer about providing a hotel and tourist park next to Dreamworld in Queensland.

The two were unable to agree on key aspects of a deal.

Ardent will continue exploring the tourist park concept.

Shares were down about five per cent to $1.31.

The big miners were all higher. BHP was up about one per cent to $41.50. Fortescue improved by 1.23 per cent to $19.70. Rio Tinto gained 1.59 per cent to $99.79.

The big four banks were all higher by less than one per cent.

AMP will have its shares traded on the ASX only and delist from the New Zealand stock exchange.

The delisting will simplify shareholder administration before the demerger of AMP’s private markets arm next year.

Shares were down a little more than one per cent to 91 cents.

The Australian dollar was buying 71.18 US cents at 1245 AEDT, higher from 71.07 US cents at Monday’s close.



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