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A rally in the final hour of trade wiped out heavy afternoon losses on the Australian share market as the ASX narrowly avoided a third straight session in the red.
Thursday, 15th November, 2018
The ASX200 index closed up 3.2 points, or 0.06 percent, at 5,736.0, while the All Ordinaries was up 2.9 points at 5,825.2.
The share market looked to have run out of steam after it had sat flat at midday, dumping as much as 0.9 per cent in the afternoon. But bargain hunters swooped in over the final hour of trade to wipe out the losses and leave the headline indices essentially where they had been at the close on Wednesday. The Australian dollar was buying 72.74 US cents after a boost from unexpectedly strong unemployment data showing October's rate remained at a six-year seasonally adjusted low of 5.0 percent.
On the share market, the heavyweight financial and materials sectors ended the day flat. The big four banks shed between 0.04 and 0.51 percent, but the weakness was offset by decent gains by some smaller lenders and the insurers. CBA was the biggest loser of the big banks with a 35 cent decline to $68.86, although No.2 lender Westpac wasn't far behind, shedding 11 cents, or 0.43 percent, to close at $25.34.
The picture was similar in the materials sector, with gains among smaller players offsetting 0.76 and 0.22 percent declines for mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP. Consumer staples was the worst performing sector, with Wesfarmers shares falling 1.67 percent to $45.37, apparently in anticipation of a post-AGM shareholder vote approving the spin-off of supermarket giant Coles. Woolworths and Coca-Cola Amatil followed their sector mate into the red, but consumer discretionaries closed 0.79 percent higher despite the gloomy news that longstanding menswear chain Roger David would close after failing to find a buyer. Some support for consumer spending was suggested by unemployment data showing 32,800 more people were in work in October than in the previous month
It also suggested the Reserve Bank may lift the cash rate slightly sooner than some analysts expect, which helped lift the Aussie dollar from 72.19 on Wednesday. Elsewhere, Graincorp shares reversed early gains to close 1.39 percent lower after a drought-ravaged 43.7 percent decline in full-year profit. And REA Group closed 0.36 percent higher despite the announcement that CEO Tracey Fellows will soon depart for a role with majority shareholder News Corp
|Equities / Fixed Interest||Close||Change||% Change|
|Currency||Close||Pts Change||% Change|
|$A vs $US||0.7274||0.0045||0.62|
|$A vs GBP||0.5589||
|$A vs EUR||0.6419||0.0026||0.40|
|$A vs YEN||82.63||0.50||0.61|
|$A vs $NZ||