Updated May 8th, 2024 at 07:33 IST

Australian shares surge for fifth session straight, healthcare stocks lead

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose by 0.2% to reach 7,809.800 by 0042 GMT, following a 1.4% increase on Tuesday.

Reported by: Business Desk
Representative | Image:Unsplash

Australian stock market: Australian shares continued their upward trajectory for the fifth consecutive session on Wednesday, with healthcare companies leading the gains, as investors digested the central bank's cautious stance on monetary policy amidst inflation concerns.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose by 0.2 per cent to reach 7,809.800 by 0042 GMT, following a 1.4 per cent increase on Tuesday.


The Reserve Bank of Australia opted to maintain its 12-year high cash rate of 4.35 per cent following its two-day meeting on Tuesday. However, discussions on potentially raising interest rates took place, prompted by higher-than-expected inflation figures in the first quarter.

RBA Governor Michele Bullock stated, "Right now we believe that rates are at the right level to achieve this, but there are risks and at this stage, the board is not ruling anything in or out."


Analysts at Westpac echoed similar sentiments, noting that while unchanged rates are the most likely outcome for the foreseeable future, unexpected increases in inflation could alter the trajectory.

Financials experienced a slight decline of 0.3 per cent, with two of the "Big Four" banks recording losses, while ANZ Group gained 1.3 per cent.


Mining stocks remained relatively stable, with a marginal 0.1 per cent decrease as iron ore prices steadied. Rio Tinto saw a 0.3 per cent decline.

On the energy front, stocks rose by 0.8 per cent, with Woodside Energy gaining 0.3 per cent and Santos advancing by 1 per cent.


The healthcare sector witnessed a 0.4 per cent jump, while real estate stocks rose by 0.6 per cent. Information technology firms edged up by 0.2 per cent.

In a notable development, financial services firm Perpetual Ltd announced the sale of its corporate trust and wealth management businesses to an affiliate of global investment firm KKR & Co for A$2.18 billion. This news led to a 6.4 per cent drop in Perpetual's stock.


Meanwhile, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index traded largely flat at 11,798.6900, as investors awaited the central bank's upcoming decision on interest rates later this month, widely expected to remain unchanged.

(With Reuters inputs)


Published May 8th, 2024 at 07:33 IST