Headline indices of the Australian market were higher on Tuesday, 28 May 2019, tracking gains made on European bourses overnight, with shares in materials, energy and tech issues being notable gainers. Around late afternoon, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inclined 33.21 points, or 0.5%, at 6,485.10 points, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 33.35 points, or 0.51%, at 6,578.10.
Markets in the United States were closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. Meanwhile, the European stocks registered gains after EU elections. Pro-EU forces retained a majority in the 28-nation bloc's parliament despite the rise of nationalist parties in a region-wide vote. Britain's exchange remained closed for a bank holiday.
Shares of materials and resources were higher, buoyed by higher iron ore prices. Rio Tinto was gaining more than 3% after Goldman Sachs upgraded Rio Tinto to a 'buy' rating and increased the target price of Rio Tinto to A$108.40 based on expectations iron ore shortages will keep the price over $100 per tonne for several months. Goldman Sachs now forecasted 30-40 million tonne iron ore market deficits in 2019 and 2020. Fortescue Metals rose more than 2% and BHP Group added almost 2% following a solid lift in iron ore prices on Friday and over the week..
Energy stocks were higher after crude oil prices rose in Asian trades Tuesday. Santos added more than 1%, Woodside Petroleum rose almost 1% and Oil Search was up 0.6%.
Shares of banks and financials were firmer. The big four banks - ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac - were up in a range of 0.5% to 1%.
Among individual stocks, electronics retailer JB HiFi were up 1.3% to A$28.30, the highest price in 15 months. The stock has been rising steady since the end of April, when it reaffirmed its guidance for its profit to grow by between 1.6% and 5.1%, despite its sales growing at a slower rate. Comparable sales at its Australian JB Hi-Fi stores grew at 1.5% in the third quarter, compared to 4.3% growth in the same quarter last year.
Vocus (VOC) was up 17% after opening its books to a European private equity firm for a proposed $3.3bn takeover. VOC is behind dodo and iPrimus brands.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar was up against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The Australian dollar was quoted at $0.6925, up from $0.6833 on Monday.