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(Australian Associated Press)
Macquarie Group shares had a record trade and banks prospered, although they could not extend the ASX 200 winning streak to a fourth day.
Macquarie shares proved one of few attractions to investors after the infrastructure investment manager showed how it aims to benefit in the global recovery from the coronavirus.
The group said first-half earnings would be nearly double from a year earlier, helped by its commodities and global markets division.
Shares traded for a record $182.66. They closed higher by 4.69 per cent to $179.13.
Investors were less keen on other categories. Materials shares, which include the heavyweight miners, as well as property and the supermarket chains had the biggest losses.
While the ASX is lower for the week, ThinkMarkets analyst Carl Capolingua said markets were down a very small amount from record highs.
“I haven’t seen much that tells me I need to be concerned,” he said.
“The ASX is going well. We’ve had one significant sector blow up on us recently – materials – and a big part of that is due to dividends.”
BHP, Fortescue and Rio Tinto all began trading ex-dividend in recent weeks after promising bumper dividends. Investors selling caused sizeable drops in the shares.
They were all lower on Wednesday as the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down by 18.3 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 7512.
The All Ordinaries closed down by 18.9 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 7807.5.
Most of regional Victoria will exit lockdown on Friday as the nation’s two most populous states start easing stay-at-home orders on millions of people.
The decision comes a day after the Reserve Bank extended its bond buying to February due to the impact of lockdowns.
Wall Street was mixed as investors balanced worries about the slowing US economy with expectations that the Federal Reserve will maintain supportive monetary policy.
The Nasdaq was the only one of the main indices to close higher.
In Australia, demand for workers is rapidly coming off the boil due to the lockdowns.
Job ads posted online fell by a further 5.6 per cent in August, according to early figures from the National Skills Commission. This is the third consecutive monthly decline.
On the ASX, Aussie Broadband raised $114 million to help the business grow through mergers and extending its network.
The Victorian-based internet provider sold 28.5 million shares at $4 each to investment groups.
The company will soon raise an additional $10 million by selling more stock to shareholders.
Shares closed up 3.67 per cent lower to $4.80.
In banking, most of the big four were higher by less than one per cent. ANZ was the exception and dropped 0.21 per cent.
Gold miners were not faring well. Northern Star shed 5.28 per cent to $9.33. Evolution sunk by 3.75 per cent to $3.85. Newcrest Mining dropped 2.94 per cent to $24.13.
Supply chain operator Qube is buying grain handling exchange Newcastle Agri Terminal for $90 million.
Growers and traders can move grain to and from the terminal by road, rail and sea.
Shares were up 4.59 per cent to $3.42.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 73.69 US cents at 1726 AEST, lower than 74.19 US cents at Tuesday’s close.
ON THE ASX
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed lower by 18.3 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 7512 on Wednesday.
* The All Ordinaries closed down by 18.9 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 7807.5.
* At 1726 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was lower by 39 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 7474 points.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 73.69 US cents, from 74.19 cents on Tuesday
* 81.21 Japanese yen, from 81.66 yen
* 62.23 Euro cents, from 62.55 cents
* 53.53 British pence, from 53.70 pence
* 103.86 NZ cents, from 104.20 cents.