The Australian market climbed higher today as the local economy continues to reopen. Our benchmark index followed on from gains in the U.S. session, which shrugged off the continuation of violent protests and broader geopolitical concerns of souring relations between the worlds two largest economies, the U.S. and China.
Improving economic data in the U.S. helped push the S&P 500 to climb 0.38 per cent, the Dow rose 0.36 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 0.66 per cent.
Locally, the Reserve Bank of Australia met today and announced, much in line with expectations, that it will maintain its current policy setting. The cash rate target was kept at 0.25 per cent and Governor Philip Lowe indicated it will likely remain so for some time.
“The Board will not increase the cash rate target until progress is being made towards full employment and it is confident that inflation will be sustainably within the 2–3 per cent target band,” he said.
At market close, the ASX200 Index had gained 15.9 points or 0.27 per cent to finish at 5,835.1 points. The gains were relatively broad-based with eight of the 11 sectors on the ASX closing in the green.
Closing in the red was the real estate sector which declined a mild 0.02 per cent. Goodman Group dipped 1.17 per cent and Dexus retreated 2.4 per cent while Scentre Group rose 5.94 per cent.
The energy sector closed 0.01 per cent lower with a mixed bag of results. WorleyParsons gained 4.65 per cent and Santos rose 0.36 per cent while Oil Search dipped 3.1 per cent.
Similarly, the materials sector closed 0.09 per cent lower. BHP, Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto all closed slightly lower and Newcrest Mining lost 2.16 per cent. On the other hand, South32 and Incitec Pivot both gained upward of three per cent.
Turning now to those sectors that closed in the green. The financials sector finished the session 0.2 per cent higher with a gain of the same per cent from Commonwealth Bank. The other three big banks all closed less than one per cent lower. Meanwhile, Macquarie Bank lost 2.55 per cent.
The consumer staples sector was helped along by gains upward of three per cent from Blackmores and Treasury Wine Estates. Likewise, supermarket stocks closed higher with a 0.37 per cent gain from Metcash, a 0.77 per cent gain from Woolworths Group and a 0.13 per cent gain from Coles Group.
The sector with the biggest gain today though was information technology which tacked on 1.34 per cent. All but two of its biggest stocks by market cap closed in the green, those exceptions were Altium and Appen which declined 0.21 per cent and 1.78 per cent respectively.
Notable gains came from Afterpay with a 3.7 per cent increase and gains of more than four per cent from WiseTech Global, Tyro Payments, Iress and Pushpay, amung others.
When the Australian market closed for the day, the Australian dollar was buying 0.67 U.S. dollars, 212.29 Indonesian Rupiah, 1.08 New Zealand dollars, 73.17 Japanese Yen and 0.61 Euros.