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(Australian Associated Press)
A strong first-half performance by ANZ has lifted the financial sector, pushing the Australian share market higher.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 50.4 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 6,375.9 points at 1615 AEST on Wednesday, while the broader All Ordinaries closed up 48.1 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 6,466.5.
“It’s been great for the Australian market, trading near these decade-highs,” said Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee.
Ms Lee said the gains came after ANZ “blew things out of the water” with their first-half results, beating expectations with a $3.56 billion first-half profit.
The financial sector gained 1.49 per cent as a whole, with ANZ up 2.76 per cent to $27.95; NAB up 1.7 per cent to $25.78; Commonwealth up 1.32 per cent to $75.50 and Westpac up 2.29 per cent to $28.14.
Tech shares were the best performers, collectively up 2.45 per cent, with Afterpay Touch leading the way after the buy-now, pay-later company reported it would use an existing brand it acquired last year, ClearPay, for its launch in the United Kingdom.
Afterpay shares were up 6.68 per cent to $27.30, while rival Zip Co shares gained 11.76 per cent to $3.42 – an all-time high for both companies.
Energy shares also posted strong gains – up 0.92 per cent as a whole – after oil prices increased more than one per cent overnight.
Origin Energy gained 3.93 per cent to $7.66 after it made a presentation to the Macquarie business conference reaffirming its earnings guidance for the year.
The mining sector was up a comparatively subdued 0.25 per cent, with BHP gaining 0.21 per cent to $37.48 and Fortescue Metals up 2.1 per cent to $7.30.
Bega was up 5.14 per cent to $5.32 after the cheesemaker won a court battle against US food giant Kraft to use the trademark yellow lids on its peanut butter jars.
A2 Milk fell 3.32 per cent to $15.43 after the New Zealand dairy company said its earnings would be lower in the first half than the second half as it doubled its marketing budget.
Pharma giant CSL gained 0.92 per cent to $200.39 while telco Telstra was up 0.59 per cent to $3.40.
The Aussie dollar is buying 70.49 US cents, from 70.37 US cents on Tuesday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 50.4 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 6,375.9 points at 1615 AEST on Wednesday
* The All Ordinaries gained 48.1 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 6,466.5
* At 1630 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up 46 points, or 0.73 per cent, to 6,350.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 70.49 US cents, from 70.55 on Tuesday
* 78.63 Japanese yen, from 78.43
* 62.84 euro cents, from 62.96
* 54.06 British pence, from 54.39
* 106.03 NZ cents, from 105.71