The Australian share market finished session higher on Monday, 04 November 2019, as risk sentiments underpinned on following last week's gains on Wall Street amid optimism that Washington and Beijing were inching towards a trade deal. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 17.77 points, or 0.27%, to 6,686.87, while the broader All Ordinaries added 20.69 points, or 0.3%, to 6,799.84.
Local market commenced trading with firm footing after the United States and China both said on Friday that they had made progress in talks aimed at defusing their protracted trade war, while US officials said a deal could be reached this month.
Further, adding to market strength, the U. S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Sunday that U. S.-China trade deal expected to be signed between U. S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ross said the agreement could be reached by the two leaders in one of several locations, including Iowa, Alaska, Hawaii or somewhere in China.
The deal was originally anticipated to be inked at this month's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile, an event that has since been canceled due to protests in the country. Last month, the U. S. and China agreed to finalize the first phase of a trade agreement, which includes a pause in tariff escalation and China buying U. S. agriculture products.
Shares in metals and mining sector were the biggest boosts to the ASX 200 for the day, on tracking positive Sino-US trade news headlines, with heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto adding 2.2% and 3.5% for the day, respectively.
Mining services provider NRW Holdings gained 13.3%, after NRW confirmed it was selected as the preferred bidder for a Western-Australian mining services company.
On the other hand, banking stocks were the biggest drags on the ASX 200, with three of the big four banks falling between 0.9% to 2.5%. Bank stocks were sold down after Westpac Banking Corp, the second largest lender in the country by market capitalization, reported a 15% slide in full-year earnings citing challenging local conditions. The stock was on a trading halt for a A$1.73 billion capital raising. National Australia Bank, which is due to report its results on Thursday, fell 2.5% and was the largest loser on the index. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group fell 0.9% and Commonwealth Bank declined 1.5%.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Australia Retail Sales Growth Slows On Weak Consumer Spending In September -- Australia's retail sales turnover climbed 0.2% month-on-month in September, slower than the 0.4% increase seen in August, reflecting weak consumer spending despite interest rate cuts, official data revealed Monday. Other retailing grew 0.8% and cafes, restaurants and takeaway services turnover advanced 0.6%. Food retailing was up 0.1%. These rises were slightly offset by a fall in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and department stores. In the third quarter, retail sales dropped 0.1%, offsetting a 0.1% rise in the preceding period. The quarterly fall was led by cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, and department stores.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar, sensitive to shifts in broader risk appetite, was up against greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6920 after rising from levels below $0.684 last week.
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