ASX: Share market trade report for Tuesday January 2


The Australian share market was tantalisingly close to breaking an all time high on Tuesday, its first day of trading for 2024.

At the closing bell, the S & P/ASX200 index was 0.5 per cent, or 37 points higher, to 7,627.8. The broader All Ordinaries added a similar amount, reaching 7,867.4.

The benchmark is now just five points from its record intraday high of 7632.8.

Eleven of the industry sectors finished in the green bar real estate, which sank 0.7 per cent.

Energy and financials were the top gaining sectors, adding 1.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.

As Iran’s navy deployed a warship to the Red Sea after US forces destroyed three vessels captained by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, oil prices rebounded. The global benchmark, Brent crude, added 1.8 per cent to push prices above $US78 a barrel.

Listed energy companies rallied on the news. Ampol jumped 1.3 per cent to $36.62, Woodside Energy added 1.3 per cent to $31.45 and Santos advanced 1.05 per cent to $7.68.

The latest round of production cuts by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies totalling about 2.2 million barrels per day will take effect this quarter. However traders remain sceptical of the effectiveness of the cartel’s pledge.

Elsewhere in commodities, iron ore majors gained during Tuesday’s session, after prices on the Singapore Exchange on the February contract rose 2 per cent to $141.55.

The rise in the iron ore futures came after Chinese President Xi Jinping used his annual New Year’s address to commit to bolstering economic growth after a challenging year for the world’s second largest economy.

“We will consolidate and strengthen the momentum of economic recovery, and work to achieve steady and long-term economic development,” President Xi said.

On the local benchmark, ASX heavyweight BHP added 0.28 per cent to $50.54 while Rio Tinto climbed 0.67 per cent to $136.57. Fortescue hit a fresh intraday record of $29.48, before settling up 1.3 per cent to $29.39.

The big four banks also finished higher, led by CBA, up 1.6 per cent to $113.61. Westpac added 0.8 per cent to $23.08, NAB rose 0.5 per cent to $30.86 and ANZ firmed 0.3 per cent to $25.99.

The Aussie dollar was higher, climbing to US68.19c at the end of the day’s trading.

Overnight, Wall Street was closed on the New Year’s Day public holiday.

In company news, Eagers Automotive, which suffered a cyber attack last week, said the incident was due to unauthorised access to parts of its IT system.

While the attack did jeopardise the new and used car retailer’s ability to finalise transactions for some vehicles, the firm said it would not affect its financial performance in 2023. Shares added 0.3 per cent to $14.52.

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