The share market’s hot October streak continued with a fifth straight advance as Wall Street cheered strong earnings from Tesla and Facebook.
The S&P/ASX 200 had its highest close in six weeks in sight after rallying 12 points or 0.15 per cent. The rise kept the Australian benchmark on track for a fourth straight winning week.
Afterpay, Wesfarmers and BHP were the best of the heavyweights. Crown Resorts jumped more than 8 per cent after a royal commission recommended it be allowed to keep its Melbourne casino licence. Coles, Goodman Group and Rio Tinto were among the biggest drags on the index.
What’s driving the market
A positive US earnings season continued to drive global sentiment. The S&P 500 climbed 0.47 per cent overnight as electric car maker Tesla surged more than 12 per cent to an all-time high and a trillion-dollar valuation. The Nasdaq Composite, where Tesla has a heavier weighting, put on 0.9 per cent.
US futures climbed further this morning after Facebook beat earnings expectations and increased a stock buyback. Shares in the social media giant climbed 1.71 per cent in extended trading following this morning’s report, released after the close of regular trade.
S&P 500 futures rallied 14 points or 0.3 per cent. Nasdaq futures firmed almost 0.5 per cent.
Back home, investors took in their stride signs Australians were increasingly concerned about rising prices. Inflation expectations as measured by ANZ-Roy Morgan climbed to a six-and-a-half-year high.
“Record petrol prices, higher food prices, elevated utilities bills and annual insurance price hikes are worrying households,” CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said.
“As evidenced elsewhere in the world, rising consumer inflation expectations could potentially dampen confidence, with households reluctant to spend in the near-term, delaying ‘big-ticket’ purchases,” he added.
Crown Resorts surged 8.33 per cent after a royal commission recommended the gaming group be allowed to keep its Melbourne casino licence. Commissioner Ray Finkelstein said Crown Melbourne had engaged in “disgraceful” conduct, but should be given two years under the watch of a “special manager” to prove its suitability to operate the casino. The manager will recommend at the end of two years whether Crown should retain the licence.
Rivals Star Entertainment and SkyCity Entertainment climbed 5.49 and 1.83 per cent, respectively.
Oil Search edged up 0.22 per cent after increasing Q3 operating revenues by 12 per cent from the previous quarter and production by 5 per cent from 2Q21. The company narrowed its full-year production guidance to 26-28 million barrels of oil, within previous guidance.
Pilbara Minerals climbed 7.18 per cent after announcing a joint venture with South Korean steel maker POSCO to build and operate a lithium processing facility in South Korea. The Australian miner will hold an 18 per cent stake in the venture, with an option to increase its interest to 30 per cent.
Afterpay led a rebound in tech stocks after the Nasdaq led last night’s US rally. The buy now pay later leader rose 3.09 per cent. Appen gained 1.56 per cent, Megaport 2.68 per cent and Nextdc 1.49 per cent.
At the pointy end of the market, BHP put on 0.87 per cent, Wesfarmers 0.82 per cent and Westpac 0.7 per cent.
Yesterday’s best performer, Mineral Resources, dropped 4.87 per cent after reporting a 13 per cent decline in spodumene production last quarter. The company said the Mount Marion mine remained on track to meet guidance. Iron ore shipments were in line with guidance and 40 per cent ahead of the prior corresponding period.
Regis Resources declined 7.13 per cent after gold production declined sharply last quarter from record levels, as previously flagged. The result was impacted by both planned production scheduling and unplanned operational issues relating to labour shortages.
A 75 per cent rebound in earnings helped lift Ampol briefly towards a pandemic-era high before fading to a loss of 0.22 per cent. The petrol company logged $102 million in earnings last quarter despite lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and New Zealand.
The biggest drags in the heavyweight division were Coles -1.12 per cent, Rio Tinto -1.01 per cent and Goodman -0.89 per cent.
Asian markets logged solid gains. The Asia Dow advanced 0.68 per cent, China’s Shanghai Composite 0.76 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.39 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei 1.88 per cent.
Oil and gold were both broadly steady. Brent crude inched up two US cents or less than 0.1 per cent to US$85.19 a barrel. Gold dipped 20 US cents or 0.01 per cent to US$1,806.60 an ounce.
The dollar climbed 0.14 per cent to 75.02 US cents.