The benchmark Australian stock index has smashed past the 7,000-point level for the first time ever on a wave of investor confidence from a signed trade deal between the US and China after two years of hostilities.
The S&P/ASX200 index on Thursday gained 47 points, or 0.67 per cent, to finish at 7,041.8 points, setting a new record for a third straight day.
The broader All Ordinaries gained 45.1 points, or 0.63 per cent, to similarly set a record high of 7,158.6.
“It’s amazing, isn’t it,” IC Markets general manager Nick Twidale said of breaching 7,000.
“We came into the year looking positive, and we’ve had little blips up and down, obviously, with what happened with the US and Iran, but it’s been relatively smooth sailing – and the fundamentals are in place for us to take another step higher.”
While there were still risks from the situations in Hong Kong and the Middle East, barring any change there traders should be able to “buy any dips and watch the dollars roll in” – at least for the short term, Mr Twidale said.
But IG market analyst Kyle Rodda in Melbourne warned that markets were showing signs of irrational exuberance and could be ready for a pullback.
“Stock indices are climbing on very little ‘new news’, and without terribly strong justification,” he wrote.
So far the ASX200 is up 5.4 per cent this year, after gaining 18.4 per cent in all of 2019.
CSL breached the $300 mark for the first time on Thursday, finishing up 1.1 per cent to $300.89 after Credit Suisse raised its price target on Australia’s third-largest company to $320.
Ten thousand dollars invested in the blood plasma and vaccine biotech when it was privatised in 1994 would be worth $3.9 million today, Burman Investment chief investment officer Julia Lee pointed out in a tweet.
Shares in Brickworks, Aristocrat Leisure, James Hardie, Ansell and Macquarie all also set all-time highs after gaining between 1.0 and 2.6 per cent, while JB Hi-Fi gained 0.6 per cent to set a new closing high of $41.25.
Seven of the ASX’s 11 sectors gained on Thursday, with tech stocks up the most at 1.7 per cent, with WiseTech Global gaining 4.1 per cent to $25.32.
Insurance companies rose, with QBE up 3.4 per cent, Suncorp up 1.4 per cent and IAG up 1.5 per cent.
The big banks were also all up, with Commonwealth rising 1.0 per cent to $84.46, NAB up 0.8 per cent to $25.36, Westpac climbing 0.9 per cent to $24.90 and ANZ rising 0.7 per cent to $25.42.
The mining sector was muted, rising 0.1 per cent, as BHP dipped 0.1 per cent to $40.13, Rio Tinto up one cent to $103.40 and South32 flat at $2.85.
Goldminers mixed and muted, although Newcrest rose 1.0 per cent.
Woodside Petroleum helped prop up the energy sector, rising 0.6 per cent to $36 after announcing that oil production was up three per cent in the December quarter.
The Australian dollar was buying 69.05 US cents, up from 68.96 US cents at Wednesday’s close.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 47 points, or 0.67 per cent, at 7,041.8 points.
* The All Ordinaries was closed up 45.1 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 7,158.6 points.
* At 1710 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up one point, or 0.01 per cent, at 6,990 points.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 69.05 US cents, from 68.96 US cents on Wednesday
* 75.92 Japanese yen, from 75.82 yen
* 61.94 euro cents, unchanged
* 52.92 British pence, unchanged
* 104.15 NZ cents, from 104.30 cents