Market 'delicately poised' as fears remain
THE sharemarket rose almost 1 per cent yesterday, in the second day of gains, as markets recovered from massive losses on hopes of a solution to Europe's debt crisis. But investors remained unsure whether a solution to the crisis could be found amid conflicting media reports.
THE sharemarket rose almost 1 per cent yesterday, in the second day of gains, as markets recovered from massive losses on hopes of a solution to Europe's debt crisis. But investors remained unsure whether a solution to the crisis could be found amid conflicting media reports.IG Markets dealer Chris Weston said the local market was "delicately poised" yesterday. Investor confidence that Europe would announce fresh measures to stave off contagion of a Greek default, including expanding its European Financial Stability Fund, had unravelled somewhat, he said.The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 34.9 points, or 0.87 per cent, to close at 4039.5.Patersons Securities associate director John Curtin said a rise in commodity prices overnight had kept the market in recovery mode after the massive losses.Consumer discretionary stocks led the market, closing 1.4 per cent higher, with department store company David Jones gaining 4.6 per cent to $2.93 and Myer rising 4.5 per cent to $2.10.There were broad-based gains in all sectors, except for healthcare stocks, which lost 0.2 per cent. Energy stocks rose 1.4 per cent after world oil prices soared on Tuesday night, mirroring gains on world equity markets.Woodside Petroleum gained 3.5 per cent, or $1.08, to $31.94 and Santos added 3? to $11.06.But RBS Morgans senior equities adviser Geoff Voller said trade had been sluggish and volumes relatively light, given a strong lead from global markets overnight.Turnover was 2.23 billion shares changing hands for $6.09 billion, with almost seven of every 10 stocks rising."It was a bit of a disappointing reaction but, given the uncertainty in Europe, I suppose it's not too surprising," he said. "There's just no real volume or confidence in the market."Chemical maker Orica's shares jumped 3.7 per cent to $23.20 despite higher than permitted mercury vapour levels being detected around its Sydney plant, just weeks after residents near its Newcastle plant were exposed to hexavalent chromium.Drilling services group Boart Longyear was the best-performing stock on the ASX 100, gaining 6.1 per cent to $2.80. The weakest company on the same index was Fortescue Metals, which lost 7.9 per cent to $4.52.The closing price of gold in Sydney was $US1652.83 an ounce, up $US2.11 from Tuesday's close.The Australian dollar rose slightly. At the local close, it was at US98.87?, up from US98.65? on Tuesday.