ASX keeps records tumbling, CBA hits peak

·4-min read

Australia's share market keeps breaking records - and overseas investors are clamouring for the benefits.

The ASX200 set a record for the third time this week after the index rose to 7281.8 points on Thursday.

The biggest stock on the market, the Commonwealth Bank, set a record price of $101.85. Shares closed up 0.88 per cent to $101.21.

Pepperstone chief market strategist Chris Weston said the ASX was performing in a stunning fashion.

"You cannot get any more bullish in a market of all-time highs," he said.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 42.3 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 7260.1.

The All Ordinaries closed up 41.8 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 7510.7.

Mr Weston said lots of capital was coming from overseas as foreign investment workers took notice.

"If this market keeps going up and up, and you're not invested in it, you're not going to get paid," he said.

The ASX has had eight consecutive months of gains.

It is a run not seen since 2007 when China's economic boom prompted a flurry of investment.

Yet Mr Weston said Aussie banks were driving this ASX pandemic surge.

"As long as banks are working well, and the housing market stays strong, you really just need one or two sectors to make the index move up," he said.

Banks are enjoying strong demand for loans as home buyers seize on low interest rates.

Mr Weston also said Reserve Bank officials were less interested in raising rates and winding up support like other central banks.

"We've got an economy that is clearly on the mend, but we're not at a later cycle like the US," he said.

US financial authorities are canvassing winding up support measures from the pandemic in case inflation gets out of control.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank president Patrick Harker said it may be time for policymakers to start thinking about slowing the central bank's asset purchases.

A weekly US unemployment report and May private payrolls data will be the next lot of data to inform investors there.

US markets gained only about 0.1 per cent.

Meanwhile Aussie trade data helped reassure investors the economy is tracking well.

Australian exports recovered by three per cent in April, pushing the trade surplus to $8 billion. This is $2 billion more than March.

Imports declined three per cent.

The federal government offered a support payment to Victorians struggling with the coronavirus lockdown.

There were two local infections reported as Melburnians prepare for a second week of restrictions.

On the ASX, energy shares surged by 3.27 per cent a day after OPEC decided not to increase supply by more than planned.

Beach Energy rose 5.79 per cent to $1.37. Oil Search gained 4.13 per cent to $4.03. Woodside climbed 3.11 per cent to $23.85.

Financial shares, which comprise a large part of the market, were higher by 0.96 per cent.

ANZ was one of the biggest improvers in the category. Shares rose 1.48 per cent to $28.77.

Buy now, pay later provider Sezzle inked a deal for Target US to use its payments platform at its stores as well as online.

The deal is for three years and does not include Target Australia.

Shares were higher by 22.67 per cent to $9.20.

Wesfarmers shares hit a record high of $56.67.

However shares closed lower by 2.08 per cent to $55.11 after the Bunnings owner said sales had moderated following pandemic peaks.

Fortescue was best of the big miners and rose 0.69 per cent to $23.44.

The Australian dollar was buying 77.24 US cents at 1728 AEST, lower from 77.36 US cents at Wednesday's close.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 42.3 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 7260.1 on Thursday.

* The All Ordinaries closed up 41.8 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 7510.7.

* At 1728 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was lower by 11 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 7252.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 77.24 US cents, from 77.36 cents on Wednesday

* 84.77 Japanese yen, from 84.89 yen

* 63.37 Euro cents, from 63.36 cents

* 54.56 British pence, from 54.67 pence

* 107.05 NZ cents, from 106.96 cents.