Australian stocks rose on Wednesday for the third straight day following the overnight gains on Wall Street and continued buying support on hope of progress being made between US and Chinese officials at trade talks in Beijing. Stocks in the energy sector continued to outshine given the firm momentum in the global crude oil prices. The WTI Crude oil futures edged up more than a percent today to hit three week highs above $50.60 per barrel. The S&P/ASX 200 Index edged up 1% to close at 5778.3 points, while the All Ordinaries Index rose 0.95% to end at 5838.4 points. S&P/ASX 200 Energy index spiked by nearly 2% on the day.
On the economic front, the number of job vacancies in Australia increased by 1.7% over the November 2018 quarter, according to new trend figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The rate of growth is slowing though. Over the year, job vacancies increased by 13.9%, with private sector vacancies increasing by 14.1% and public sector vacancies by 12.1%.
The global economic growth is projected to soften from a downwardly revised 3% in 2018 to 2.9% in 2019 amid rising downside risks to the outlook, the World Bank said on Tuesday. International trade and manufacturing activity have softened, trade tensions remain elevated, and some large emerging markets have experienced substantial financial market pressures