A mostly upbeat tone to the annual general meeting season, including well-received updates from ResMed, Qantas and AMP, spurred shares higher on Friday to ensure a second straight week of gains.
Over the past week, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index each lifted 2.7 per cent, to 5412.2 points and 5399.3 points respectively, in a broad-based recovery led by the big four banks. On Friday, the local market added 0.5 per cent, again led by financial services.
“Long term, the outlook for the Australian equity market remains solid so it is important investors look through the recent increase in volatility,” HOSTPLUS Super chief investment officer Sam Sicilia said.
However, the fund has been reducing its allocation to local shares over the past month to free up capital to deploy toward better opportunities in unlisted assets and global equities, he said.
In local economic news, official September quarter inflation data released on Wednesday saw headline inflation fall to 2.3 per cent year-on-year. Economists said the soft result supported the Reserve Bank of Australia’s stance to keep record low interest rates on hold for some time to come.
It was the big four banks that did the most to lift the index over the week, as all rose before the bank reporting season. National Australia Bank rose 3.4 per cent to $34.27, ANZ Banking Group lifted 3.4 per cent to $33.02, and Westpac Banking Corporation also gained 3.4 per cent to $34.21. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which reports on a different calendar to its main rivals, added 2.9 per cent to $78.77.
Telstra Corporation added 2.2 per cent to $5.50 over the week. At its AGM on Thursday, Australia’s dominant telco conceded it expects profit margins to shrink while outlining its plans to push into Asia.
The big miners were also stronger, despite a dip in iron ore prices, as official data released in China on Tuesday showed marginally stronger than expected economic growth.
Resources giant BHP Billiton finished the week 1 per cent higher to $33.74. On Wednesday its US oil and gas division smashed forecasts to show a 49 per cent surge in quarterly production. Rio Tinto gained 1.2 per cent to $60.05 .
AGL Energy was a laggard, down 1.2 per cent to $13.51 as its AGM on Thursday was marred by protests against its coal seam gas projects. Transfield Services was the best performer of the week, surging 27.3 per cent to $1.91 amid a $1 billion takeover approach from Spain’s Ferrovial.
上海龙凤论坛Continue Reading →