ASX up 1% in early trade, GDP awaited

Shares on the Australian stock market have crept almost 1.0 per cent higher ahead of keenly-anticipated economic growth data this morning.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 57.8 points, or 0.99 per cent, at 5892.9 points after the first 15 minutes of trade on Wednesday.

The All Ordinaries index was 59.2 points, or 0.99 per cent higher, at 6019.3.

All sectors were higher and the biggest gains were in energy and property, up 2.2 and 1.49 per cent respectively.

A late-session rally helped pushed Wall Street to solid gains overnight as traders looked past race riots and pandemic worries to focus instead on easing lockdown restrictions and signs of economic recovery.

Most of the attention in Australia will be on economic growth figures for the March quarter, which will reflect the devastating impact of the summer bushfires and the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Economists expect gross domestic product (GDP) will be a contraction of between 0.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent.

A negative figure will almost certainly mean a recession, given the much deeper impact expected in the June quarter from travel bans and social distancing.

The Australian dollar continues to gain momentum from strong iron ore prices.

Concerns about supply from Brazil, which is struggling to stop the spread of COVID-19, has meant more demand for producers in Australia.

One Australian dollar was buying 69.19 US cents at 1015 AEST, up from 68.02 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.

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