Australia share market inclined on Thursday, 11 July 2019, as risk sentiments underpinned on tracking rallies on Wall Street overnight after dovish testimony from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell that offered the prospect of looser monetary policy. Most of ASX sectors firmed up, with the resource stocks being notable gainers. Around late afternoon, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 33.61 points, or 0.5%, at 6,723.40 points, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 35.12 points, or 0.52%, at 6,812.80.
U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday and the S&P 500 briefly crossed the 3,000-point mark for the first time following Powell's remarks. The S&P 500 closed 0.5% higher at 2,993.07. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 76.71 points to finish at 26,860.20, while the Nasdaq Composite saw a record close at 8,202.53.
In testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, Fed Chair Powell said business investments across the U.S. have slowed “notably” recently as uncertainties over the economic outlook linger. “Many FOMC participants saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened,” Powell said in prepared remarks. Powell said the central bank stands ready to act as appropriate to support a record-breaking leg of U.S. economic growth. Powell's remarks confirming market expectations for a rate cut at the Fed's two-day meeting ending July 31
Shares of the IT sector were the best performer, mirroring gains by US counterparts overnight. WiseTech Global rose 2.7% to $30.21, Appen gained 2.9%, and Xero (XRO) advanced 1.3%.
Shares of energy sector were also a standout helped by a jump in global oil prices overnight. Nymex Light Sweet Crude surged 4.5% to US$60.43 a barrel after data showed US crude stocks fell by 9.5 million barrels in the week to July 5, falling more than three times the 3.1 million barrels analysts had expected. Santos (STO) was up 1.5%, while Woodside Petroleum (WPL) climbed 0.4%.
In company news, Virgin Australia (VAH) shares have dipped 4.4% after the airline said Affinity Equity Partners - which paid A$336 million for a 35% stake in Virgin's Velocity Frequent Flyer program in 2014 - has requested “various exit options for the sale of its stake be considered.”
Whitehaven Coal (WHC) shares gained more than 5% after the miner reported solid June quarter production results. The miner received better than expected prices for its thermal coal over the period, averaging US$84 a tonne. Production of 7.3Mt was up 25% on the previous corresponding period, while sales rose 12% to 5.3Mt.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar was little changed against the U.S. dollar on Thursday. The Australian dollar was steady at $0.6961 following an overnight rise of 0.5% against the broadly weaker dollar. The surge helped the Aussie pull away from a 2-1/2-week trough of $0.6910.