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Mining and health care stocks lifted the Australian share market higher, but the gains did little to recover the significant losses inflicted during Monday's trading.
Tuesday, 11th December, 2018
The ASX200 index was up 23.4 points, or 0.42 per ent, at 5575.9, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 0.42 percent at 5651.20.
Major miners lifted the materials sector higher on stronger industrial metal and commodity prices, with BHP climbing 1.4 percent to $31.72 and Rio Tinto rising 1.3 percent to $72.88. South32 and Fortescue Metals were 1.6 and 1.5 percent higher respectively, while BlueScope lost 0.4 percent. Health care shares were the strongest performer on the indices with benchmark CSL up 2.1 percent to $180.38, while ResMed was particularly buoyant, rising 3.7 percent to $15.60.
The financial sector was choppy throughout trading and closed flat, but the big four lenders all finished in the black. Westpac had the strongest gains, up 0.8 percent to $25.06, and Commonwealth the weakest, up 0.2 percent to $68.43. Macquarie was 0.1 percent lower, while QBE Insurance tumbled more than four percent to $9.96 after flagging a three-year, $130 million cost-cutting program, as well as greater reinsurance for extreme and catastrophic events. QBE says its operational efficiency program will incur around $95 million of restructuring costs over 2019-20 and an expense ratio of around 14 per cent by 2021.
Energy stocks reversed earlier gains following subdued oil prices, with Woodside, Oil Search, Santos, and Caltex posting losses of between 0.6 and 1.1 percent. New Hope and Whitehaven, however, jumped 7.9 and 3.6 percent respectively on stronger coal prices. Cimic Group rose 4.7 percent to $41.65, lifting the industrial sector higher, after being selected to deliver a capital waterworks program in Tasmania.
The Australian dollar edged lower as the greenback firmed against the pound, buying 72.04 US cents, down from 72.17 US cents on Monday.
|Equities / Fixed Interest||Close||Change||% Change|
|Currency||Close||Pts Change||% Change|
|$A vs $US||0.7195||0.0007||0.10|
|$A vs GBP||0.5725||
|$A vs EUR||0.6335||0.0005||0.07|
|$A vs YEN||81.43||0.06||0.07|
|$A vs $NZ||