ASX edges higher in first session of 2020

The ASX has edged higher in the first session of 2020, with health care, telcos and tech stocks helping offset a weak open by the heavyweight miners and financials.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11.8 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 6,695.9.0 points at 1030 AEDT on Thursday, with the broader All Ordinaries up 13.3 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 6,815.7 points.

The ASX has opened the new year on the up.
The ASX has opened the new year on the up. Credit:James Alcock

The banks and miners began the new decade lower – but were the only sectors in the red after half an hour of trade, with telcos leading the post new year’s holiday charge.

Telstra was up 1.27 per cent at $3.585, TPG rose 0.6 per cent to $6.75, Vocus was up 0.35 per cent to $2.87, and online property advertising platform REA Group climbed 1.33 per cent to $104.98.


The volatile tech sector also surged, with the so-called WAAAX contingent of Wisetech, Afterpay, Appen, Altium and Xero up by between 0.32 per cent and 2.35 per cent.

Bravura solutions was also higher, gaining 0.38 per cent to $5.22.

The Australian share market had faced an uncertain start to January trade, with a year-ending rally on Wall Street and bleak futures data hinting at opposing prospects for local stocks.

For the miners, BHP was down 0.08 per cent at $38.89, while Rio Tinto rose 0.21 per cent to $100.61.

South32 was up 0.19 per cent to $2.705, Fortescue Metals was 0.09 per cent higher at $10.70, and BlueScope Steel rose 0.2 per cent to $15.09.

The goldminers were in retreat, with Newcrest, Northern Star and Evolution each down by between 0.57 per cent and 1.45 per cent.

The big four banks were all lower, with ANZ down 0.32 per cent at $24.55, Commonwealth Bank down 0.16 per cent to $79.77, NAB dipping 0.2 per cent to $24.58, and Westpac down 0.33 per cent to $24.15.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland were up by 0.15 per cent and 0.14 per cent respectively, but Macquarie Group slumped 0.28 per cent.

Biotech giant CSL was up 0.83 per cent at $278.05 and was joined in the black by Cochlear, ResMed, Ramsay Health Care and Sonic Healthcare – each rising between 0.17 per cent and 0.96 per cent.

The Australian dollar hit a more than five-month high of 70.32 US cents on December 31, and at 1030 AEDT Thursday it was buying 70.17 US cents.

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