After a positive start and a subsequent smart upmove amid the release of a slew of earnings reports, the Australian stock market pared some gains on Thursday with investors treading cautiously at higher levels.
Energy, financial and consumer staples stocks are trading higher, while mining, consumer discretionary, healthcare and industrial stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which rose to around 4,310, is currently trading at 4,300, up 18.8 points or 0.4 percent from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is up 18.6 points or 0.4 percent at 4,325.6, off the day's high of 4,333.8.
Challenger Limited shares are up almost 5.5 percent. Paladin Energy is trading nearly 3 percent up. Boart Longyear, Seek, Downer EDI, Santos and Toll Holdings are up 2 to 2.6 percent.
AMP Limited shares are trading 2.5 percent up. The wealth manager lifted its first half net profit by 10 percent, thanks largely to the benefits of its merger with AXA Asia Pacific. AMP posted a net profit of A$383 million for the six months to June 30, up from A$349 million in the previous corresponding period.
Monadelphous Group, Sims Metal Management, Cochlear and Leighton Holdings are also trading notably higher.
Tabcorp Holdings, Alumina (AWC) and Brambles are trading lower by 4 to 4.4 percent. Brambles Limited has announced that its full-year profit rose 21 percent and that it expects continued revenue growth in the year ahead.
Echo Entertainment Group is down 2.4 percent. Dexus Property Group shares are down 1.8 percent following the company reporting a 67 percent slump in full year profit.
Oz Minerals, Primary Healthcare and Fortescue Metals are also trading notably lower.
On Wall Street, stocks turned in a lackluster performance on Wednesday with traders mostly staying away on the sidelines amid the release of some mixed economic data.
The major averages ended the session mixed for the fifth time in the past six sessions. While the Dow edged down 7.4 points or 0.1 percent to 13,164.8, the Nasdaq rose 14 points or 0.5 percent to 3,030.9 and the S&P 500 inched up 1.6 points or 0.1 percent to 1,405.5.
Major European markets ended lower on Wednesday. While the French CAC 40 index closed just below the unchanged line, the German DAX index and U.K.'s FTSE 100 index lost 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil settled at a three-month high on Wednesday, after a weekly report from the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude stockpiles to have declined last week. Crude for September delivery gained $0.90 or 1 percent to close at $94.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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