Australian shares higher despite hawkish RBA minutes
The local share market has closed modestly higher for a second day on renewed optimism about the state of the global economy, while shrugging off a signal that domestic interest rates might soon rise yet again.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Tuesday finished 19.8 points higher, or 0.28 per cent, at 7078.2, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 20.6 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 7,289.3.
Hawkish minutes from the Reserve Bank's November 7 meeting did little to derail the day's gains, although the Australian dollar hit a four-month high after the readout was released.
The minutes indicated board members were committed to avoiding a growing mindset among businesses that any cost increases could be passed onto consumers, which could lead to a costly inflation spiral.
City Index market analyst Matt Simpson said the minutes read like the RBA was still set on another rate hike but would try to avoid one if possible.
With no RBA meeting in January, a hot consumer price index report next week could seal another 25 basis point "Christmas present to the masses", Mr Simpson wrote.
The ASX's 11 sectors finished mixed on Tuesday, with four gaining ground, seven losing it and technology basically unchanged.
Mining was the biggest mover with a 1.4 per cent gain, with Rio Tinto adding 1.9 per cent to $127.37, BHP up 1.4 per cent to $47.40 and Fortescue climbing 0.7 per cent to $25.47 as Andrew Forrest's company announced it was moving forward on three new green hydrogen deals in the United States and Australia.
Fortescue was the latest ASX company to receive a "first strike" on its executive pay packet, with 52 per cent of shareholders voting against its renumeration report after a raft of senior management changes over the past two years.
Northern Star added 3.5 per cent to $11.86 as the goldminer announced its drilling program had identified potential long-term growth opportunities across all three of its mining sites.
The Big Four banks all finished slightly higher, with CBA the biggest mover with a 0.5 per cent rise to $103.70.
Westpac added 0.3 per cent to $21.29, ANZ gained 0.2 per cent to $24.29 and NAB finished up 0.1 per cent to $27.95.
Origin Energy dropped 2.9 per cent to a six-month low of $8.28, as traders judged the utility's $16 billion acquisition by a Brookfield-led private equity consortium would be successfully blocked by major stakeholder AustralianSuper.
Shareholders will approve or reject the consortium's $9.43-per-share offer on Thursday.
SG Fleet Group plunged 11.7 per cent to a four-month low of $2.27 after its second-largest shareholders, Ayvens, sold down its stake in the car leasing company.
Appen was in a trading halt after announcing a $30 million capital raising at 55c a share, a 42 per cent discount to its last closing price of 95c a share.
Appen said revenue conditions had deteriorated further than expected when the AI company raised $60 million in May, at $1.85 a share.
It also announced another $14 million in cost-cutting measures, on top of the $46 million announced in May.
The Australian dollar was buying 65.79 US cents, from 65.50 US cents at Monday's ASX close.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Tuesday finished 19.8 points higher at 7,078.2, a gain of 0.28 per cent.
* The broader All Ordinaries added 20.6 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 7,289.3.
One Australian dollar buys:
* 65.79 US cents, from 65.50 US cents at Monday's ASX close
* 96.97 Japanese yen, from 97.64 Japanese yen
* 59.93 Euro cents, from 59.96 Euro cents
* 52.42 British pence, from 52.47 pence
* 108.43 NZ cents, from 108.66 NZ cents.
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