The Australian share market finished session at fresh highs on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, as risk appetite picked up ahead of the signing of a preliminary trade pact between China and the United States. Almost all sectors advanced on Wednesday, with consumer staples the lone decliners. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inclined 32.64 points, or 0.47%, to 6,994.84, while the broader All Ordinaries added 35.50 points, or 0.5%, to 7,113.50.
US President Donald Trump is slated to sign the Phase 1 trade agreement with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House later in the day. As part of a U. S.-China trade deal, China will pledge to buy $200 billion of U. S. goods over a two-year period in four industries, according to several reports, in return the U.
S. will scrap a new round of tariffs and cut the tariffs on $120 billion worth of Chinese goods in half to 7.5 percent, but a 25 percent tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports will remain in place. The two sides have an understanding that no sooner than 10 months after the signing of the agreement at the White House Wednesday, the U. S. will review progress and potentially trim tariffs now in place on $360 billion of imports from China.
Mining stocks were mixed, with losses from Rio Tinto (RIO), Fortescue (FMG) and South32 (S32), easily offset by strong gains from gold producers.
Gold stocks jumped, with Evolution Mining and St Barbara adding 4.4 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively. Gold miner Resolute Mining gained as much as 3.4 per cent, after announcing a deal to sell its Ravenswood Gold mine for up to A$300 million (S$279 million) to a consortium led by resource-focused private equity firm EMR Capital.
Energy stocks also climbed up, with oil and gas explorer Beach Energy rising 4 per cent, while Papua New Guinea-focused Oil Search rose 1.2 per cent.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar, sensitive to shifts in broader risk appetite, fell against the U. S. dollar. The Australian dollar was at 0.6899, falling back from the 0.69 level a day before.
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