Aust stocks eke out fresh six-year high

By Elizabeth Redman

CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said the market would have done better if it were not for a slump in BHP shares after investors were disappointed the mining giant declined to announce a buyback with its profit results yesterday. "The biggest drag by far was BHP, and that wiped out 16 points from the All Ordinaries," Mr Daghlian said. "If it wasn't for BHP's losses, the market would have been up about half a per cent.

The Australian sharemarket has inched up to a fresh six-year high, with a number of upbeat earnings reports offering support despite a sell-off in BHP Billiton. At the 4. 15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index edged up 10. 8 points, or 0. 19 per cent, to 5,634. 6, while the broader All Ordinaries index inched up 10. 8 points, or 0. 19 per cent, to 5,629. 2.

The biggest winner of the day was QBE, which soared out of a trading halt after completing a $650 million capital raising. QBE closed 5. 6 per cent higher at $11. 31. Wesfarmers rose 3. 77 per cent to $45. 66 after lifting full-year profit and flagging a $1. 1 billion capital return.

BHP Billiton fell 3. 91 per cent to $38. 13 despite its healthy lift in full-year profit as investors are disappointed the mining giant did not take the opportunity for capital management initiatives.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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