ASX flat in quiet first session of 2020

The ASX has made marginal gains during the first day’s trade of 2020, with telco and consumer discretionary stocks helping offset a weak open by health care and industrials.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Thursday up 6.5 points points, or 0.1 per cent, to 6,690.6 points, with the broader All Ordinaries up 7.6 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 6,810 points.

ASX has had flat start to 2020 after closing out a bumper a 2019.
ASX has had flat start to 2020 after closing out a bumper a 2019. Credit:VINCENT THIAN

The Australian dollar hit a more than five month high of 70.32 US cents on December 31, and at 1620 AEDT Thursday it was buying 70 US cents.

By midday, banks and miners had started the new decade lower, but were the only sectors in the red after two hours of trade, with telcos leading the new year recovery session.


The market had faced an uncertain start to January trade, with a year-ending rally on Wall Street and bleak futures data offering conflicting hints for what might happen.

It came after the ASX ended the decade on Tuesday with sharp falls that wiped $40 billion off the value of the market, as traders took profits off the table.

Telstra was up 1.84 per cent at $3.605, TPG was flat at $6.71, Vocus was down 0.52 per cent to $2.845, and online property advertising platform REA Group climbed 1.79 per cent to $105.45.

Among the miners, BHP was up 0.13 per cent at $38.97, while Rio Tinto rose 0.58 per cent to $100.98.

The goldminers were in retreat, with Newcrest, Northern Star and Evolution each down by between 0.79 per cent and 0.97 per cent.

The big four banks were all lower, with ANZ down 0.41 per cent at $24.53, Commonwealth Bank down 0.04 per cent to $79.87, NAB dipping 0.45 per cent to $24.52, and Westpac down 0.21 per cent to $24.18.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland were up by 0.05 per cent and 0.41 per cent respectively, and Macquarie Group edged higher by 0.04 per cent.

Biotech giant CSL was up 0.63 per cent at $277.50 and was joined in the black by Cochlear and ResMed which rose 0.61 per cent and 0.91 per cent respectively.

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