The ASX bulls picked up from the overnight’s positive session and joined forces with Wall Street to take the index higher on the opening bell this Tuesday morning.
As renewed momentum returned, the ASX 200 hit a fresh record high of 6,962.80 amid optimism ahead of a looming U.S. and China trade deal.
With the so-called “Phase-One” deal baked in; China’s top trade negotiator is due to arrive in Washington for the signing this Wednesday.
The U.S. is hoping this deal will lead to a new start on trade with China, and the Trump Administration says the deal will create a level playing field for American farmers and manufacturers.
The ASX 200 has gained +278.1 points – or +4.2% – since the start of the year, with the Tuesday’s session, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index surged in the final half-hour of trade to finish Tuesday on a high note to the day’s session at 6,962.2, up +58.5 points – or +0.85%.
The broader All Ordinaries index closed to a gain of +57.8 points, or +0.82%, to 7,078 points.
The bullish sentiment strengthened after the Trump administration’s decision to remove China from its list of currency manipulators ahead of Wednesday’s “Phase-One” trade deal signing ceremony.
Every sector ended in positive territory, with consumer staples gaining the most to a healthy gain +1.7%, as Woolworths rose +2.5% to $38.38 and Elders soared +8.3% to $6.79 on a boost in cattle prices.
CSL helped health care recover from yesterday’s losses. The blood products giant CSL climbed +0.7% to $296.50 after reaching a new intra-day high of $299.90, before paring back the new gains.
Cochlear gained +0.31% to $232.88, while Pro Medicus gained a healthy rise of +4.54% to $25.10 and burn products company Avita Medical surged +7.4% to $0.725.
Lithium miners Pilbara Minerals, Orocobre and Galaxy Resources were some of the biggest gainers, rising +11.4%, +7.4% and +7.2%, respectively amid hopes for an increase in the price of the vital electric battery component.
The mining sector also shined after posting a gain of +1.2%, with Titans, BHP advancing +1.3% to $40.05, while Rio Tinto climbed +1.9% to $103.97, with Fortescue Metals gaining +1.85% to $10.99, and South32 rose +3.6% to $2.89.
Goldminers continue to struggle to recapture its bullish shine as the price of the precious yellow metal continues to slide down the bearish path since posting a near seven-year high of $1,611, with Newcrest falling -1.2%, while Evolution Mining fell -1.1% and Northern Star slid -0.9%.
Retail stocks also joined in with the top gainers today, with supermarket giants Woolworths surged +2.54% and Coles +1.42%.
Noni B and Rockmans owner Mosaic Brands plunged -17.3% to a two-year low of $1.87 after reporting that same-store sales were down eight per cent in the six months to December 29 because of the bushfire crisis.
In the financial sector, the “Fab Four” (banks) were higher with the Commonwealth and ANZ both climbing +0.8% to $83.17 and $25.20 respectively, while the NAB gained +0.5% to $25.06… Westpac, on the other hand, slipped -0.1% to $24.57.
Elsewhere, Macquarie Group reached a new all-time-high close. The investment banking giant gained +1.17% to close at $141.13.
Investment manager Pendal Group tumbled -5.1% to $8.53 after reporting that funds under management only grew one per cent in the December quarter.
EML Payments surged +7.2% to a new $5.23 after confirming it had signed a deal to supply NSW Health with reloadable cards for salary packaging purposes.
The Australian dollar was buying US$0.6895 (as of writing), down from an intraday high of US$0.6909.