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Bourse climbs on softer than expected inflation data

Jack QuailNCA NewsWire
Following the release of fresh inflation data, which showed price pressures were cooling faster than expected, the share market finished in the green on Thursday with interest-rate sensitive stocks lifting the benchmark higher. Picture NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Camera IconFollowing the release of fresh inflation data, which showed price pressures were cooling faster than expected, the share market finished in the green on Thursday with interest-rate sensitive stocks lifting the benchmark higher. Picture NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

The share market closed higher on Wednesday as interest-rate sensitive stocks climbed on news that the RBA’s battle to tame inflationary pressures was making headway.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed 0.3 per cent higher at 7035.3 points, while the All Ordinaries added a similar amount to 7245.8 points.

The Australian dollar is lower, buying US66c.

Six of 11 industry sectors on the ASX200 finished in the green, led by a rally in tech and healthcare stocks, up 2.1 per cent and 1.8 per cent.

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The rally in interest rate sensitive stocks followed the release of fresh inflation data which showed cost pressures abated in October.

ATO MARTIN PLACE
Camera IconFollowing a soft October inflation print, the ASX finished higher on Tuesday, as traders anticipated the RBA may have done enough to tame inflation. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia

Betashares chief economist David Bassanese said the softer-than-expected inflation print cemented the view among markets that the central bank would keep rates on hold at its December 5 meeting.

“Of course, declining goods sector inflation – while welcome – is already well anticipated by the RBA,” Mr Bassanese said.

“The bank instead is more concerned with ongoing signs of stickiness in service sector inflation, and the full picture about these prices will be most evident in the December quarter CPI report in late January.

“Although it’s not my base case, if the December quarter CPI reveals surprisingly persistent service sector inflation the RBA will likely raise rates again in February – with the very real intention to slow consumer spending further and dent the evidently still strong pricing power enjoyed by corporate Australia.”

Local gold miners rallied as price for precious metal soared beyond $US2040 an ounce.
Camera IconLocal gold miners rallied as price for precious metal soared beyond $US2040 an ounce. Credit: Supplied

Gold miners also rose after prices for the precious metal lifted above $US2040 an ounce. Northern Star Resources added 4.4 per cent to $12.67, Newmont climbed 5.4 per cent to $60.40 and Regis Resources rose 1.6 per cent to $1.92.

Energy stocks were the biggest laggards, losing 0.8 per cent, ahead of the OPEC+ meeting set for Thursday evening (AEDT).

With members set to mull deeper production cuts, Brent crude sat below $US82 a barrel. Santos sank 0.9 per cent to $6.94 and Woodside eased 0.7 per cent to $31.

In company news, Fisher and Paykel added 7.9 per cent to $22.20 after recording a jump in profits and revenue for the first half of financial year 2024.

Harvey Norman shares climbed even as the retailer recorded falling sales and its first remuneration strike. Supplied via NCA NewsWire
Camera IconHarvey Norman shares climbed even as the retailer recorded falling sales and its first remuneration strike. Supplied via NCA NewsWire Credit: Supplied

White goods, furniture and electronics retailer Harvey Norman said sales had picked up in recent weeks despite recording a 7.8 per cent fall in sales overall since July. At its AGM on Wednesday, the company also received its first remuneration strike.

Despite the news, shares jumped 4.2 per cent to $3.67.

Embattled pathology provider Healius added 6 per cent to $1.50. Local superannuation funds Australian Retirement Trust and Host Super have upped their stakes in the firm.

EML Payments plunged after the fintech company released a trading and strategic update showing it is saddled with increasing costs and falling customer performance. The company is also facing an activist campaign to refocus its pre-paid card business. Shares traded 29.7 per cent lower to 77c.

Originally published as Bourse climbs on softer than expected inflation data

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