Aust Shares Follow World Indexes, Open up

The Australian share market has opened comfortably higher after key indexes around the globe made solid gains.

The Australian share market has opened a quarter of a per cent higher.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 0.3 per cent at 6,142.4 points, after the first half-hour of trade on Monday, with all sectors trading in positive territory.

CMC Markets chief analyst Ric Spooner says that locally, investors are following the global trend from Friday when Wall Street’s key indexes all had enviable gains, Germany’s DAX lifted more than one per cent, and Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.89 per cent.

In the US, stocks performed well despite a weaker-than-expected jobs data for December with the world’s biggest economy adding 148,000 new positions, missing expectations of a 190,000 gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.8 per cent.

Mr Spooner said positive sentiment from investors, who are anticipating solid profits in February’s reporting season, was also trickling through to the local share market on Monday.

“The other theme is that we are seeing reasonable support for cyclical sectors in the market so that includes the info technology sector and the industrials sectors which are doing well today,” Mr Spooner added.

Technology stocks were among the best performers on Monday with Computershare and Xero up 0.2 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively.

Healthcare stocks continued to soar after last week’s high when Australian producers were given the green light to export medicinal cannabis products.

The big four banks also helped push the index higher, trading between 0.3 per cent and 0.7 per cent stronger.

But Suncorp shares sank 0.8 per cent to $13.77 after the insurance giant flagged a cost hit of between $160 and $170 million in its first-half results, following a flood of insurance claims relating to Melbourne’s hailstorm in December.

Energy and mining stocks were dipping in and out of positive ground, following some profit taking in metals and a retreat in oil prices from 2015-highs on Friday.

Woodside Petroleum was flat at $34.595 while Oil Search and Santos each rose 0.4 per cent to $8.04 and $5.57 respectively, and mining giants BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals were all trading lower.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has jumped against the US dollar, which lifted marginally against most currencies following the release of the weaker-than-expected US jobs data for December.

The local currency was trading at 78.66 US cents at 1030 AEDT on Monday, from 78.48 on Friday.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 20.1 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 6,142.4 points

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 20.9 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 6,250.6 points

* The SPI200 futures contract was up 21 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 6,095 points

* National turnover was 998.6 million securities traded worth $408.7 million