Australia market was edge higher on Wednesday, 10 October 2018, as investors chased for bargain hunting after headline indices fell to lowest level in four-month on Tuesday. Market gain, was, however, limited as fears of the escalating US-China trade war grew and the International Monetary Fund warned that the country's strong economic growth will peak thanks to rising protectionism. Among ASX issues, gains in shares of healthcare, energy, and telco issues offsets losses in the mining and banking sectors. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 8.74 points, or 0.14%, at 6,049.81 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 8.33 points, or 0.14%, to 6,163.79 points.
The International Monetary Fund cuts its official growth forecast for Australia and the global economy on Tuesday. Only three months ago, the IMF had been projecting the global economy would grow at an annual rate of 3.9% this year and next, but it cut that projection to 3.7% for both years. IMF officials said Donald Trump's trade war with China and Europe would likely hit global growth and reverberate through 2019. The escalation of the US president's protectionist policies, which had resulted in the world's largest economy doubling import duties on some Chinese goods, would negatively affect the growth of the world's largest trading countries, including the US, France, Germany and China.
Shares of energy players were mostly higher after crude oil prices rose overnight. WTI crude for November climbed $0.67 or 0.9% to $74.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Santos rose more than 1% and Woodside Petroleum added 0.2%, while Oil Search was down 0.1%.
Shares of banks and financial players were lower for a third straight session as the banks cop more flak over revelations of wrongdoing. CBA and its wealth management arm Colonial First State have been hit by a class action law suit over allegedly uncompetitive superannuation returns, while the Australian Banking Association has unveiled a refreshed banking industry code on that aims to stop lenders from charging dead people.
Navitas shares gained more than 21% after Australian education firm's has received a A$1.97 billion takeover bid from a consortium comprising private equity firm BGH Capital, fund manager AustraliaSuper and top shareholder Rodney Jones.
ECONOMIC NEWS: The Westpac/Melbourne Institute survey of consumer sentiment index rose by 1.0% to a reading of 101.5 in October. The sentiment index is in line with its long-term average of 101.5. A reading above 100 denotes optimism.
The number of dwelling starts fell by 5.9% in the June quarter, after an upwardly revised 11.8% lift in the March quarter. Currently, 230,573 homes are being built.
CURRENCY: Australian Dollar was higher against greenback and other major currencies on Wednesday. The Australian dollar was quoted 71.22 US cents, up 0.5% from 70.87 US cents at Tuesday's close.
OFFSHORE MARKET NEWS, US stock market closed mixed on Tuesday, as investors worried about global growth prospects. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 56.21 points or 0.2% to 26,430.57 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.09 points or 0.1% to 2,880.34. The tech-heavy Nasdaq inched up 2.07 points or less than a tenth of a% to 7,738.02
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