The share market has broken a three session losing streak as investors returned to the major banks, and a telco sector where Telstra is facing new competition.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 rose 0.3 per cent, its first positive session in a week after three straight falls either side of the Easter break.
CommSec market analyst Juliana Roadley said the major banks performed well after falling in the previous three sessions.
“Some of the geopolitical concerns have sort of died down a little bit today so you’ve got the banks doing a little bit better,” she said.
ANZ was the best performer, adding 1.2 per cent, while Westpac’s 0.2 per cent gain was the smallest.
Telstra and TPG Telecom are also bouncing back after recent falls, as investors mull the future of the mobile market following TPG’s big spending on mobile spectrum last week to support its plans to build a fourth mobile network.
“The area that a lot of the interest and money is going into still is TPG and Telstra, just people looking at what is going to be the winner in that field,” Ms Roadley said.
Telstra rose 2.9 per cent, but is still down almost seven per cent from where it was prior to TPG’s mobile announcement, and TPG also gained 2.9 per cent.
Santos dropped 2.5 per cent and Woodside Petroleum slid 1.2 per cent on the back of lower oil prices and underwhelming quarterly production reports, Ms Roadley said.
Lower iron ore prices hurt the miners, with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto losing ground.
Harvey Norman fell 3.5 per cent and JB Hi-Fi dropped 1.8 per cent as online giant Amazon confirmed it will launch in Australia, though no timeframe has been provided.
Grooming retailer Shaver Shop jumped 15 per cent after upgrading its annual earnings guidance, thanks to a sales boost from customers reselling its products in Asia.
The Australian dollar was broadly flat against the US greenback late Thursday, after spending most of the session down on the back of lower gold and copper prices.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 gained 17.4 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5,821.4 points.
* The broader All Ordinaries index gained 14.5 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 5,854.4 points.
* The June SPI200 futures contract was up six points, or 0.1 per cent, at 5,803 points at 1630 AEST.
* National turnover was 2.7 billion securities traded worth $5.6 billion.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 75.20 US cents, from 75.17 US cents on Wednesday
* 81.79 Japanese yen, from 81.72 yen
* 70.02 euro cents, from 70.10 euro cents
* 58.62 British pence, from 58.61 pence
* 106.71 New Zealand cents, from 106.98 NZ cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,280.83 per fine ounce, down $US3.67 from $US1,284.50 on Wednesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
* CGS 5.25 per cent March 2019, 1.639pct, from 1.615pct on Wednesday
* CGS 4.25pct April 2026, 2.454pct, from 2.405pct
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* June 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.465 (implying a yield of 2.535pct), down from 97.520 (implying a yield of 2.480pct) on Wednesday
* June 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.190 (1.810pct), down from 98.230 (1.770pct)
(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session)