By Deepta Bolaky
The Australian share market struggled to edge higher despite overnight gains on Wall Street. The S&P/ASX200 dropped on the open after a two-day advance as all three US equity benchmarks had pared gains in the final hours of trading dragged by dovish Fed comments.
In the afternoon, the index was down 37 points or 0.70% to 5,370. All Ordinaries was trading lower by 28 points or 0.51% to 5,450.
The majority of the sectors were trading in negative territory but significant losses of more than 1% were seen in the real estate and financial sectors. Bank stocks were heavily weighing on the index with Westpac, ANZ and NAB all down by 2% or more, while CBA was trading around 1% lower.
As of writing, the energy sector was the best-performing sector, supported by a surge in crude oil prices. For the first time since April, Brent Crude oil futures rose above $30 as production cuts started kicking in.
On the economic front, the Aussie Retail Sales turnover came above expectations at 8.5% in March compared to the 8.2% forecasted. Australia saw both record rises in food retailing and record falls in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services. Panic-buying has driven the increases in food retailing (24.1%), household goods retailing (9.1%) and other retailing (16.6%) which has helped to compensate for the significant drop in other categories.
The Aussie dollar remains relatively muted at 64.30 US cents, despite the upbeat Retail Sales data.
By Deepta Bolaky
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