Headline indices of the Australian stock market closed modest higher on Tuesday, 16 April 2019, as hopes of stabilisation in the Chinese economy and as the Reserve Bank minutes of its April meeting indicated a dovish tone in the policy review. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 26.01 points, or 0.42%, at 6,277.45 points, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 24.40 points, or 0.38%, at 6,372.26.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) published the minutes of its April 2, 2019 monetary policy meeting on Tuesday. The minutes showed that policymakers saw a marked slowdown in the Australian GDP that offset the sustained labor market growth. The minutes also revealed that policymakers expect inflation to remain muted for some time. Additionally, the minutes disclosed the RBA discussed interest-rate cuts at its April board meeting and concluded there was not a strong case for an adjustment in the near term.
RBA board members conceded interest rates were unlikely to need to rise in the near future and decided standing pat would allow it to be a source of stability and confidence. In doing so, it noted the impact of further easing would be smaller than in the past because of high household debt and declining property prices.
Health care stock was the best-performing sector, up collectively 1.3%, with Cochlear up 7.9% to A$180.76 after the hearing aid company debuted a new implant that doesn't need to be removed during an MRI. Pharma giant CSL gained 0.6% to A$196.70.
Financials were higher, with all four of the big banks in the green. with all of the big banks in the green. Westpac gained 1.4% to A$26.41, Commonwealth Bank gained 0.7% to A$72.69, ANZ rose 0.6% to A$26.41 and NAB was up 0.7% to A$25.01.
CURRENCY: The Australian dollar declined against the U. S. dollar on Tuesday, after the release of minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's April monetary policy meeting (RBA), which were construed by traders as dovish. In the meeting minutes, the RBA said an interest rate cut would likely be appropriate in the event that inflation did not move any higher and unemployment trended up. The Australian dollar was quoted at 71.50 US cents, down from 71.69 US cents on Monday.
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