Banks, health­care lift mar­ket as min­ers re­verse gains

STOCK WATCH

Kalgoorlie Miner - - BUSINESS -

Bank­ing and health­care stocks lifted the share mar­ket higher, while the en­ergy sec­tor also pushed ahead de­spite weak oil prices.

The bench­mark S&P/ASX200 in­dex closed 0.53 per cent higher at 5928.2 yes­ter­day, while the broader All Or­di­nar­ies rose 0.57 per cent.

The lo­cal indices con­tinue to cor­rect af­ter fall­ing more than 6 per cent in Oc­to­ber, but Bell Di­rect eq­ui­ties an­a­lyst Ju­lia Lee said earn­ings growth has peaked and share mar­kets around the world will mod­er­ate from these lev­els.

“The big­ger ques­tion for the mar­ket is whether we’re see­ing growth rolling over and that would have im­pli­ca­tions for growth-re­lated sec­tors such as the ma­te­ri­als and en­ergy sec­tors,” she said.

Oil prices are down about 5 per cent this month and this is usu­ally an in­di­ca­tion global growth is slow­ing, Ms Lee said.

De­spite these weaker prices, the en­ergy sec­tor had its third straight day in the black with Wood­side Petroleum, Oil Search and Ori­gin En­ergy all up be­tween 0.5 and 1.3 per cent.

But the min­ers re­versed ear­lier gains to close more than half a per cent lower, dragged down by BHP, 0.2 per cent lower at $33.33, and South 32, down 0.6 per cent to $3.64. Rio Tinto was 0.3 per cent higher at $81.48. The gold min­ers were mostly down on softer pre­cious metal prices.

The big four banks all had strong gains ex­cept NAB, which went ex­div­i­dend yes­ter­day, fell 3.6 per cent to $24.93.

ANZ climbed 2.3 per cent to $27.05, while Com­mon­wealth Bank and West­pac were up 1.8 per cent.

The com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog an­nounced yes­ter­day it will al­low Fair­fax Me­dia’s $4 bil­lion merger with Nine En­ter­tain­ment to go ahead af­ter de­cid­ing the move would not di­min­ish com­pe­ti­tion in Aus­tralian news and me­dia.

Shares in both com­pa­nies closed flat, Fair­fax at 62.5 cents and Nine at $1.68.

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