RTTNews - The Australian market ended in positive territory on Wednesday despite weaker cues from Wall Street, after Commonwealth Bank reported results in line with expectations. Sharp rise in consumer sentiment index for August also lifted market sentiment offsetting the weakness in resources stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index advanced 11.10 points, or 0.26%, to close at 4,343, and the All-Ordinaries Index ended at 4,346, representing a gain of 11.50 points, or 0.27%.
Data compiled by Westpac and Melbourne Institute revealed that the consumer sentiment index for the month of August rose 3.7% from the previous month, the highest monthly rise since October 2007. According to the report, the index rose to a seasonally adjusted 113.4 points in August from 109.4 points recorded for the month of July. In annual terms, the consumer index rose to a seasonally adjusted 31.6%, the report revealed.
In a separate report, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that wages growth stalled in the previous quarter. The report revealed that wages, excluding bonuses, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8% during the second quarter, the same as reported for the preceding first quarter. Year-over-year, wages rose 3.8% during the second quarter, the report stated.
Light sweet crude oil price for September delivery ended at $69.33 a barrel in electronic trading, down $0.12 from its previous close $69.45 a barrel in New York on Tuesday.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia reported a 1% drop in its annual profit in line with market expectations. The bank further noted that the outlook for the year remains challenging, anticipating a slowdown in credit growth amid expectations of rise in interest rates. The stock gained 3.16%. Westpac Banking advanced 1.35%. However, ANZ Bank slipped 0.46% and National Australia Bank shed 0.65%.
Oil stocks ended in negative territory after the price of crude oil ended below the $70 a barrel mark in New York on Tuesday. Woodside Petroleum lost 0.96%, Santos fell 0.83%, Oil Search shed 0.37% and Origin Energy slipped 0.27%.
Mixed performance was witnessed among the metal and mining stocks. BHP Billiton gained 1.04%, Fortescue Metals advanced 3.33%, and Gindalbie Metals rose 2.35%. However, Rio Tinto edged down 0.17%, Iluka Resources fell 2.57%, Minara Resources lost 5.26% and Oz Minerals dropped 2.21%.
Gold stocks ended mixed. While Lihir Gold added 0.76%, Newcrest Mining edged down 0.17% and Sino Gold slipped 0.52%.
In the U.S., stocks ended in negative territory on Tuesday as traders preferred to lock in gains ahead of key economic data slated for release during the later part of the week that includes FOMC meeting announcement and retail sales.
The Dow closed down by 96.50 points or 1% at 9,241, the Nasdaq slipped by 22.51 points or 1.1% to 1,970 and the S&P 500 fell by 12.75 points or 1.3% to 994.
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