ASX closes to a two-month high – Investors eye U.S. payrolls data

August 5, 2022 - 2 weeks ago

The Australian share market put in a stronger performance Friday and closed above the 7,000 threshold, which was last witnessed in early June.

At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose +40.7 points, or +0.58%, to 7,015.6, while the All Ordinaries added +42.8% points, or +0.59%, to 7,250.3, while our local currency, the Australian dollar, is currently buying US$0.6948.

On the sectoral front, the top-performing sector on the day was materials, which advanced +1.87%, as energy dragged on the index.

Following a further -2% slump in oil prices on Thursday, Woodside dropped -1.3% to $31.11, while Santos lost -0.71% to $6.95 and Ampol fell -2.77% to $32.29.

Among the banks, the “Fab Four” banks were mixed, with Westpac adding +0.5% to $21.96 and CBA lost -0.38% to $101.41, while NAB eked out a +0.03% rise to $30.91, ANZ climbed +0.75% to $22.95, and Macquarie Group Ltd rose +0.59% to $176.93.

Later Friday, the U.S. Labour Department’s jobs report is expected to show whether employers kept hiring in July after 372,000 jobs were added in June, with the forecast currently holding at 250,000, and the unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at a historic low of 3.6%.