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(Australian Associated Press)
The Australian share market has hit its highest level in 10 years as gains by the major banks outweigh a sharp drop for Telstra following its announcement of a major restructure.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 0.7 per cent at 6,143.4 points at 1200 AEST on Wednesday, after hitting its highest level since January 2008 in morning trade.
The broader All Ordinaries index has also hit a 10-year high, and was up 0.6 per cent at 6,247.9 points at 1200 AEST.
The gains defy a weak lead from overseas markets, and a drop in commodity prices, after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on another $US200 billion ($A271 billion) of Chinese goods, which prompted a warning of retaliation from Beijing.
The big four banks are leading the gains, with Westpac up 2.3 per cent at $28.64, ANZ up 2.2 per cent at $27.565, Commonwealth Bank up 1.4 per cent at $70.85 and National Australia Bank 1.1 per cent higher at $26.80.
Macquarie Group is also extending its good run, up 1.7 per cent at a new record high of $120.485.
Telstra was the most traded stock on the market, and one of the worst performers, after saying it plans to split its mobile and infrastructure operations into separate businesses, and cut 8,000 jobs as part of efforts to strip out an additional $1 billion of costs by 2022.
The changes are part of a strategy to simplify the business in the face of increasing competition and the development of the NBN.
Telstras shares were down 16.5 cents, or 5.7 per cent, at a seven-year low of $2.745.
Shares in TPG Telecom were down 1.3 per cent at $5.45 and and Vocus was down 2.5 per cent at $2.565.
The Australian dollar is edging back towards 80 US cents after falling to a 13-month low on Tuesday, trading at 73.94 US cents at 1200 AEST.
ON THE ASX AT 1200 AEST:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 41.3 points, or 0.68 per cent, at 6,143.4 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 39 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 6,247.9 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was up 41 points, or 0.67 per cent, at 6,147 points
* National turnover was 1.2 billion securities traded worth $2.4 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1200 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 73.94 US cents, from 73.65 US cents on Tuesday
* 81.39 Japanese yen, from 80.77 yen
* 63.84 euro cents, from 63.58 euro cents
* 56.16 British pence, from 55.74 pence
* 106.99 NZ cents, from 106.88 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1200 AEST was $US1,274.94 per fine ounce, from $US1,280.02 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1200 AEST:
* CGS 4.50 per cent May 2021, 2.0992pct, from 2.0751pct on Tuesday
* CGS 4.75pct May 2028, 2.633pct, from 2.6237pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* September 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.35 (implying a yield of 2.65pct), from 97.365 (2.635pct) on Tuesday
* September 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.87 (2.13pct), from 97.895 (2.105pct).
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)