Aust shares make small gain

Petrina Berry
AAP

The Australian share market has closed slightly higher as investors wait for crucial central bank interest rate decisions from Japan and the US.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.17 per cent at the close on Tuesday following a glitch-free session after technical issues caused huge interruptions to trade on Monday.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said investors were largely in a holding pattern ahead of the Bank of Japan's monetary policy decision due on Wednesday and the US central bank's monetary policy decision due at 0400 AEST on Thursday.

"People are waiting to hear what the Bank of Japan has to say," Mr Spooner said.

"However, reaction may be limited at first because the market will likely wait for the Fed's outcome before moving too much."

Oil and gas and telecommunications stocks were the two worst performing sectors on Tuesday.

Mr Spooner said oil prices were drifting but investors were still reacting to recent downgrades in oil demand forecasts and expectations supply will increase.

He said a disappointing underlying earnings result and outlook from TPG Telecom sparked growth concerns for internet providers, driving the entire telecommunications sector lower.

Shares in Woodside Petroleum and Santos were down 1.2 per cent to $26.79 and 1.1 per cent to $3.53, respectively.

TPG shares dropped 21.4 per cent, or $2.53, to $9.28 after its underlying earnings of $775.3 million for the year to July 31 missed market expectations and its 2017 guidance disappointed investors.

Telstra fell six cents, or 1.2 per cent, to $5.01.

The big four banks were higher with gains ranging from 0.18 per cent to 0.62 per cent.

As for the major miners, Rio Tinto rose 1.5 per cent, or 69 cents, to $47.25, while BHP jumped 2.5 per cent, or 50 cents, to $20.61.

Miner New Hope Group shed six cents, or 3.85 per cent, to $1.50 after unveiling a full year headline loss of $53.7 million, more than double the $21.8 million loss in the prior year.

KEY FACTS:


  • At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 8.8 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 5,303.6 points.


  • The broader All Ordinaries index was up 3.6 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 5,397.3 points.


  • The September share price index futures contract was up 22 points at 5,291 points, with 21,872 contracts traded.


  • National turnover was 2.8 billion securities traded, worth $6.1 billion.