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29/08/19
       
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The Australian share market climbed modestly for a second day, buoyed by the tech sector, while the Aussie dollar has hit a 10-year low against its US counterpart.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Wednesday up 29.4 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 6,500.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 35.2 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 6,600.8 points.

The volatility index, sometimes called the fear index, dropped half a per cent to 15 per cent.

The Australian dollar sank to its lowest levels against US dollar since February 2009, buying just 67.38 cents after declining 4.7 per cent against the greenback since mid-July.

Tech stocks were the biggest gainers on the ASX, up 3.6 per cent, with Appen rising 10.8 per cent to $27.37 ahead of its earnings report on Thursday.

Afterpay Touch rose 9.3 per cent to a three-month high of $28.28 - close to an all-time high of $28.70 set May 7 - after the buy-now, pay-later company reported both faster growth and higher losses than expected.

The market darling lost $42.9 million in the 12 months to June 30 but underlying sales rose 140 per cent to $5.2 billion, and Afterpay said it was gaining 12,500 new customers a day.

Logistics software company Wisetech Global gained 5.8 per cent to hit an all-time high of $36.50.

The mining sector was the second-biggest gainer, up 1.8 per cent, with BHP gaining 1.3 per cent to $35.42, Rio Tinto rising 2.5 per cent to $85.83 and South32 up 3.7 per cent to $2.54.

Goldminers were higher as the price of the precious metal hovered just below $US1540 an ounce, with Newcrest up 2.9 per cent, Evolution up 3.0 per cent and Northern Star up 2.7 per cent.

The big banks were all lower, with NAB down 1.3 per cent to $26.94, CBA down 0.5 per cent to $76.80, Westpac down 0.3 per cent to $27.54 and ANZ falling 0.5 per cent to $26.24.

Telecom stocks were 1.2 per cent lower as a whole, with Telstra falling 1.6 per cent to $3.68.

Radiology software company Pro Medicus gained 9.0 per cent to hit an all-time high of $36.26, its share price having risen by 32-fold since the start of 2015.

Speedcast dropped 33.2 per cent, on top of Tuesday's plunge 33 per cent plunge, to hit a fresh all-time low of 75.5 cents after several broker downgrades following Tuesday's earnings results.

Bellamy's dropped 1.4 per cent to $7.94 after the Tasmanian infant formula maker pushed out its medium-term revenue target due to uncertainty over when it might receive approval to sell more product in China.


International Markets
 
US stocks climbed overnight, recovering from early declines on gains in energy and financial shares, but investors remain leery about the potential for another flare-up in the US-China trade war.

The financial sector was up 0.91 per cent on Wednesday, recouping all of the prior day's losses that came on a deepening of the US Treasury yield curve inversion, which often precedes a recession.

Gains in the benchmark S&P 500 index were also supported by a 1.40 per cent jump in energy stocks after industry data showed a fall in stockpiles of US crude, boosting oil prices, which settled up more than 1.5 per cent.

The two have been the worst performing of the 11 major S&P sectors in August.

Investors took some relief in the lack of new developments on the trade front although the US Trade Representative's office on Wednesday reaffirmed President Donald Trump's plans to impose an additional 5 per cent tariff on a list of $US300 billion ($445 billion) of Chinese imports starting on 1 September and 15 December.

Next week, investors will look towards the monthly jobs report and manufacturing data which could guide expectations on the likelihood of another rate cut from the Federal Reserve at its mid-September meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday rose 258.2 points, or 1 per cent, to 26,036.1; the S&P 500 gained 18.78 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 2,887.94; and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.94 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 7,856.88.

In another factor that could support stock prices, the 30-year US Treasury yield fell below that of the S&P 500 dividend yield, making equities a more attractive income alternative.

Shares of Autodesk slid 6.74 per cent, as the worst performer on the S&P 500, after the company cut its full-year earnings forecast.

Shares of Tiffany & Co rose 3.02 per cent after the luxury jeweller reported quarterly earnings above analysts' estimates.

Source: Morningstar
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