The Business Times

Australia: Shares hit over 2-week high as banks shine; all eyes on US inflation data

Published Tue, Sep 13, 2022 · 03:13 PM

AUSTRALIAN shares ended at a more than 2-week high on Tuesday (Sep 13), boosted by banks and miners, with investors awaiting US inflation data for clues on the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening stance.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7 per cent to 7,009.7, its highest closing level since Aug 26 and extended gains to a fourth straight session.

The US Labor Department’s consumer price index, due later in the day, is crucial to gauge the number and size of Fed’s future interest rate hikes.

“Any signs of disinflation will be welcomed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), and if markets suspect the Fed could revert to 25 basis point (bps) hikes, then it will likely see less need for 50 bp hikes from the RBA. And that could bode well for the ASX,” said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index.

“The RBA will more so be watching Australian jobs data Thursday and if it has room to be more aggressive next month,” said Jessica Amir, market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets.

Financials hit a more than 2-week peak and rose for a fourth consecutive session, with the “Big Four” banks gaining between 0.6 and 1.7 per cent.

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Miners gained 0.6 per cent, adding 9.5 per cent in the past 4 sessions as iron ore prices rose to a 2-week high. Rio Tinto rose 0.7 per cent, while BHP Group and Fortescue Metals shed 0.3 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively.

Ramsay Health Care slid 10.4 per cent after a KKR-led consortium said it will not improve its US$14.5 billion cash-and-stock offer for the hospital operator.

Separately, a measure of Australian consumer sentiment bounced in September to break a 9-month losing streak as the outlook for the economy brightened a little.

The Australian equity market will be closed on Sep 22 to observe a national day of mourning and public holiday after the death of Queen Elizabeth.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 closed 0.4 per cent lower at 11,762.15. REUTERS

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