Late rally leaves market in the black
THE sharemarket edged higher yesterday, with late gains in financial and mining stocks helping lift the bourse out of negative territory.
THE sharemarket edged higher yesterday, with late gains in financial and mining stocks helping lift the bourse out of negative territory.The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 27.3 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 4296.5, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 28.5 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 4369.9. The September share price index futures contract was 28 points higher at 4292.Macquarie Private Wealth director Lucinda Chan said investors were holding back ahead of key data due from the US later this week - a private sector manufacturing report and the latest labour force numbers.She said offshore turnover was very light in recent days, as Hurricane Irene swept along the US east coast. "The market looks a little tired," she said.CommSec analyst Juliette Saly said strong performances among the big banks and miners helped lift the overall market."The banks all turned around in the late afternoon [and] helped drive the market [higher]," she said.Among the banks, ANZ gained 11? to $20.29, the Commonwealth was up 29? at $48.22, National Australia Bank rose 6? to $23.72 and Westpac was 12? higher at $20.60."We're starting to see positive momentum coming through from our financial sector," Ms Saly said. "Any bank that looked a little undervalued is starting to gain again."Among the miners, BHP Billiton was 39? higher at $39.74 after it announced it would spend $US367 million expanding up its coal handling operations at Newcastle. Rio Tinto was up 73? at $72.52.Centro Properties's former chief executive Andrew Scott was fined and former chief financial officer Romano Nenna was banned from management for two years for breaching corporate law relating to misleading financial reports. Centro shares slipped 0.3? to 4?.The best-performing sector was in telecoms, with Telstra up 4? at $3.03.Among the energy producers, Oil Search was off 10? at $6.32, Woodside fell 15? to $35.18, while Santos gained 5? to $11.75.The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1832.70 an ounce, up $US36.55.