New Zealand Markets closed

ASX has best day since mid-June

Derek Rose
The futures market is pointing to a rise for the ASX at the start of trading

The Australian share market has enjoyed strong gains for a second straight day, with every sector advancing.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Tuesday up 77.6 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 6,545 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 76.9 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 6,627.4 points.

It was the ASX's best day since a 78-point rise on June 19.

"We're seeing good support for the market across the board," said CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy.

As opposed to Monday's rally, where the Australian share market underperformed its regional rivals, the ASX on Tuesday was the best-performing market in the region aside from Korea, Mr McCarthy said.

The energy sector led gains, up 2.4 per cent, while the industrial, consumer, health care, tech, utilities and property sectors were all up between 1.6 and 2.2 per cent.

"They're buying domestic business, which are obviously less exposed to trade woes," Mr McCarthy said of traders.

Eleven 11 major companies reported earnings on one of the busier days of confession season.

IPH led gainers with a 10.4 per cent rise to an all-time high of $9.45 after the intellectual property firm announced full-year profit was up 31 per cent to $53.1 million.

Estia Health rose 8.4 per cent after the nursing home operator kept its profit flat at $41.3 million amid what its chief executive described as one of the most difficult periods ever for the aged care sector.

Oil Search was up 1.1 per cent to $6.57 after independent oil and gas producer said half-year profit had more than doubled to $US161.9 million ($A239 million).

Beach Energy gained another nine per cent to $2.18, on top of Monday's 10.8 per cent gains following news the oil and gas producer had tripled its profit to $198.8 million.

Bluescope Steel gained 8.2 per cent to $12.10, making up most of Monday's losses after it reported earnings.

Seek gained 4.8 per cent to $20.03 after the online jobs listing giant more than tripled its full-year profit to $180.3 million despite a dip in jobs ads.

Altium gained 6.5 per cent to a two-week high of $35.86 after the circuit board design software firm reported a 41 per cent increase in profit, to $52.9 million.

The mining sector posted the least gains, 0.4 per cent, dragged lower by gold miners as the price of the precious metal dropped below $US1,500 an ounce.

Newcrest was down 0.8 per cent, Saracen down 3.5 per cent and Regis Resource down 2.2 per cent.

Elsewhere it the sector, diversified mining giant BHP rose 0.1 per cent to $36.30 after tripling its full-year net profit to $US8.31 billion ($A12.27 billion) on the back of strong iron ore prices.

Rio Tinto gained 1.0 per cent to $85.83 and South32 was up 0.4 per cent to $2.83 but Fortescue Metals fell 1.0 per cent to $7.58.

The big banks were mixed, with ANZ down 0.2 per cent to $26.68, NAB up 0.4 per cent to $27.34, Westpac flat at $28.03 and Commonwealth up 1.1 per cent to $77.13.

Pharma giant CSL was up 2.2 per cent to $234.45.

The Aussie dollar is buying 67.83 US cents, from 67.84 US cents on Monday.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 77.6 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 6,545

* The All Ordinaries closed up 76.9 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 6,627.4

* At 1646 AEST the SPI200 futures index was up 72 points, or 1.12 per cent, to 6,500.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST

One Australian dollar buys:

* 67.83 US cents, flat from Monday

* 72.25 Japanese yen, from 72.17 yen

* 61.23 euro cents, from 61.15 cents

* 56.00 British pence, from 55.92 pence

* 105.74 NZ cents, from 105.62 cents.