Oz Market into Rarefied Air Indeed

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

The Australian sharemarket continued wandering higher into uncharted territory on Thursday, and so did a number of leading shares with the Commonwealth Bank again leading the way.

The ASX 200 built on Wednesday’s rise to finish at 7,260.1, a new record close after reaching a peak of 7,281.8 in the early part of the session.

The ASX 200 Index added more than 42 points on Thursday.

The Commonwealth Bank set a new record close of $101.21 after touching an intraday high of $101.85.

Westpac shares rose 1%, ANZ shares were up 1.4% and NAB shares ended with a gain of 0.9%.

BHP (up 0.4%) Rio Tinto (up 0.05%) and Fortescue Metals (up 0.7%) all saw gains on the day after iron ore prices consolidated the gains of 8% on Monday and Tuesday on Wednesday.

Retail trade rose an unchanged 1.1% in April from a preliminary estimate, the trade surplus came in at more than $8 billion for the 4oth month in a row.

Technology stocks gained a collective 1.6% (Afterpay shares were up 3.3% at the close) and consumer staples added 0.9% thanks to gains from Woolworths (1.1.4%) and Coles (up 0.9%).

Wesfarmers hit a new high of $56.67 before selling off a touch to close at $55.11 – a loss of 2% for the session after issuing a vague but worrying trading update (see separate story).

Shares in fintech firm Sezzle surged more than 22% to $9.20 as it sealed a three-year deal with giant American retailer Target to offer interest-free payment plans to Target customers via in-store and digital platform services.

Domino’s Pizza hit a new high of $117.96 but lost that to close lower at $114.15, a big swing in sentiment.

Super Retail Group has a similar experience – a new record high in early trading – $13.65 before second thoughts and investor selling sent it down 0.3% on the day where it closed at $13.12.

Energy companies did well for a second day in the wake of the OPEC+ group decision to maintain a slow rate of reduction in the size of its production cap.

Woodside Petroleum jumped 3.11% to $23.85, Santos was up 3.8% to $7.64, Origin leapt 6.16% to $4.48, Oil Search rose 4.1% to $4.03 and Beach Energy closed 5.8% higher at $1.37.

Qantas shares rose 2.5% to $4.91 and Telstra edged up 0.8% to $3.52.

Some of those early peaks and then falls in the rest of the session might be a worry if they start occurring in more leading stocks.


About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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