ASX: Telco shares up, mining and bank stocks fall on slow day

The share market went nowhere today in another quiet day of trade in the lead-up to the Easter holiday break.

Mining and bank stocks were the only sectors to retreat, overshadowing gains in every other sector.

By the close, the All Ordinaries index was six points higher at 5,231 while the ASX 200 index finished unchanged at 5,167.

Telecommunications shares led the gains after TPG posted a 90 per cent jump in half-year profit to $202.5 million.

Its broadband arm iiNet had earnings of $107.1 million. TPG boosted its dividend to 7 cents a share.

Investors welcomed the news, with TPG shares jumping 7.2 per cent to close at $11.09.

Telstra shares also rose despite the telco giant having its third outage in two months.

The telco added 1.4 per cent to $5.26.

But mining stocks went the other way, with BHP Billiton losing 1.5 per cent to $17.90 and Rio Tinto falling by 0.5 per cent to $43.86.

The big four banks were also out of favour. ANZ fared the worst on a loss of 1.7 per cent to $25.44.

In economic news, the head of the Reserve Bank said the improvement in economic conditions at the end of last year seem to have continued into the start of this year.

Glenn Stevens said while the economy seemed to have been picking up, employment data had been more "ambiguous".

Mr Stevens said if there was a serious economic downturn the RBA still had room to cut interest rates.

The Australian dollar jumped following Mr Stevens' speech. About 5:00pm (AEDT) it was buying around 76.1 US cents, 67.6 euro cents, 85.2 Japanese yen and 52.9 British pence.

Spot gold was slightly higher at $US1,248 an ounce. Oil was also higher, with Brent crude up to $US41.71 a barrel.

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