Big four banks up as Aussie share market rises


The Australian share market has opened higher after Wall Street stocks rebounded at the end of last week.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 37.5 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 6,554.6 points at 10.30am (AEDT), while the broader All Ordinaries was up 37.5 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 6,674.4 points.

Tech shares led gains in the first half-hour of trading, rising 1.43 per cent, as every sector on the ASX advanced.

Afterpay added 2.72 per cent, Bravura Solutions bounced 2.33 per cent and Xero rose 2.40 per cent.

But it was the heavyweight financial sector that did much of the heavy lifting for the overall market, with the big four banks all higher.

ANZ was up 0.63 per cent to $27.34, Commonwealth up 0.84 per cent to $78.24, NAB up 0.57 per cent to $28.01, and Westpac up 0.84 per cent to $28.66.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was up 0.36 per cent, Bank of Queensland was up 0.42 per cent, and Macquarie Group was down 0.32 per cent.

AMP Capital’s chief economist Dr Shane Oliver has tipped the Australian share market will have a good start to week. Picture: Jane Dempster
AMP Capital’s chief economist Dr Shane Oliver has tipped the Australian share market will have a good start to week. Picture: Jane Dempster

MyState was unchanged at $4.53 after the Tasmania-based lender appointed Gary Dickson, formerly of ME Bank, as its interim chief financial officer.

Elsewhere, mining giant BHP was up 0.59 per cent to $35.51, Rio Tinto was up 0.68 per cent to $88.25, and Fortescue Metals was up 1.74 per cent to $8.77.

Nine Entertainment was down 1.05 per cent to $1.88 after it built its stake in Macquarie Media past 90 per cent, allowing it to bring the radio network under full ownership.

Trading volume was expected to be low on the ASX because of public holidays in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.

US shares had surged on Friday after government data indicated the country's unemployment reduced from 3.7 per cent to 3.5 per cent in September, its lowest level in about 50 years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1.42 per cent, the S&P 500 was also up 1.42 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 1.40 per cent.

The Aussie dollar is buying 67.63 US cents, up from 67.54 US cents on Friday.

On Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished up 24.1 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 6,517.1 points, and the All Ordinaries rose 25.2 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 6,636.9 points.

But the market still ended the week down about three per cent, its worst since mid-November.

"It looks like we'll start trade (on Monday) reversing some of the losses we saw over the last week," Dr Oliver said.

Business confidence figures to be released by the National Australia Bank on Tuesday are set to remain soft.

"It's not bad, it's sort of running around average … but it's not the sort of levels you want to see if you're going to get decent growth in the economy,' Dr Oliver said.

It's likely to be a similar story when Westpac puts out its consumer confidence survey on Wednesday.

But the latest housing loan approvals on Thursday are expected to show a continued upswing in the market, with a rise of about three per cent, Dr Oliver said.

Globally, there will be hopes for a pause in tit-for-tat tariff increases, with US-China trade negotiations due to resume on Thursday night, local time.