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Gold miners and oil producers keep ASX afloat as fires take market toll

“The rhetoric thrown around between the US and Iran is still fairly bellicose and sapping risk appetite somewhat. Oil prices have rallied as a result, as markets price in the chance of disruptions to energy supply chains in the Gulf.”

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“Gold surged off the $US1450 mark, where it was very securely supported for a number of weeks. But on top of this, the risk-off sentiment has driven investors to gold, as has the subsequent fall in bond yields. Gold prices have also benefited from a weaker US dollar, which sold off on Friday after some softer than expected US economic data,” he said, adding falling bond yields usually weigh on bank stock prices.

Santos shares tapped $8.62, its highest price in five years, boosted by the oil price rising 2 per cent over the weekend. Shares closed up 2.14 per cent to $8.59. However, the rising oil price weighed on airlines, with Qantas falling 2.6 per cent to $7 and Domain Holdings hit its highest ever price of $3.82 today since floating in late 2017.

Telstra also had a good day, with gains of 0.8 per cent to $3.62, while Wesfarmers gained 0.9 per cent to $42.20.

Apart from Bega Cheese, other food producers dropped as traders speculated on the impact of fires and drought around the country. Costa Group slid 3.2 per cent to $2.41, while farming-linked companies like Elders dropped 3.1 per cent to $6.28, Nufarm fell 2.8 per cent to $5.93, and GrainCorp dropped 2.5 per cent to $7.68.

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