ASX rallies 1.7pct on strong US earnings

·4-min read

The Australian share market has rallied for a second time this week on the back of a strong lead from Wall Street, as several leading US corporations reported better-than-expected earnings.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Wednesday gained 109.6 points to finish at a three-week closing high of 6,759.2, a gain of 1.65 per cent.

The broader All Ordinaries climbed 122.2 points, or 1.78 per cent, to 6,975.2.

Every sector finished after strong earnings reports from Netflix, Halliburton and Hasbro overnight led to a 2.8 per cent gain for the S&P500 and a 3.1 per cent climb for the NASDAQ.

"Well, not a bad day today," said Lucinda Chan, division director at Macquarie Private Wealth.

"The US went nuts - so a little bit of a turnaround. It is a reporting season over there, and the corporate earnings obviously look quite healthy. And that's led us into a very positive mode of the market.

"We've suffered a little bit of late, so any positive news is going to lift the market."

Tech stocks were collectively the biggest gainers, rising 3.8 per cent for the best day this month.

Xero climbed 5.9 per cent, Wisetech Global added 5.6 per cent and Computershare gained 1.5 per cent.

Megaport soared 23 per cent to a two-month high of $7.96 after the Brisbane IT services provider announced it had delivered its first profitable quarter in June as revenue grew 10 per cent to $30.6 million.

The heavyweight mining sector rose 2.5 per cent, with BHP lifting 1.4 per cent to $37.11, Rio Tinto up 2.2 per cent to $97.80 and Fortescue adding 5.2 per cent to $17.90 as iron ore prices edged higher.

Northern Star was up 2.1 per cent to $6.90 after the goldminer reported it had met full-year production and cost guidance despite labour and inflation pressures that elevated in the fourth quarter.

Iluka Resources gained 7.2 per cent to $9.24 after the mineral sands producer announced production was up five per cent in the June quarter, with strong sales despite a "challenging and uncertain macro environment".

The big banks were higher, except for ANZ which remained in a trading halt.

Macquarie rose 3.9 per cent to $174.17, NAB gained 0.8 per cent to $29.65, and Westpac and CBA both advanced 1.1 per cent, to $20.53 and $96.02, respectively.

In the energy sector, Whitehaven Coal continued its stellar run on the back of sky-high coal prices, climbing 3.5 per cent to an all-time high of $6.43.

Beach Energy added 2.8 per cent to $1.825 after reporting fourth-quarter production was up nine per cent and revenue up 10 per cent to $504 million.

Bubs Australia was up 6.5 per cent to a two-week high of 57c after reporting fourth-quarter gross revenue of $48.1 million, more than the infant formula maker made in all of fiscal 2021.

More than 540,000 tins of Bubs formula has been air-shipped into the USA since May, funded by the US government to relieve critical shortages.

Chief executive Kristy Carr said the company envisages the USA will become as important a market opportunity for Bubs as China.

The Aussie dollar meanwhile rose against its US counterpart, buying 69.13 US cents, from 68.60 US cents at Tuesday's close.

It did not react much as Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe gave a hawkish speech on Wednesday morning, but rose against the British pound after UK government figures showed inflation last month hit a fresh 40-year high of 9.4 per cent.

In crypto, Bitcoin was showing signs of life, gaining 9.3 per cent in the past 24 hours to $US23,750, its highest level since a June 13 selloff.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Wednesday closed up 109.6 points, or 1.65 per cent, at 6,759.2.

* The All Ordinaries gained 122.2 points, or 1.78 per cent, to 6,975.2.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 69.13 US cents, from 68.60 US cents at Tuesday's close

* 95.47 Japanese yen, from 94.56 yen

* 67.44 Euro cents, from 67.39 cents

* 57.57 British pence, from 57.24 pence

* 110.51 NZ cents, from 110.74 cents.

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