Local actions exceed the key level to a new record

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Craig said this year’s huge profits may also reflect the recovery of movements observed in other major markets at the end of last year.

“Some of this is a bit of a smoother fourth-quarter recovery than ASX had compared to many other markets,” he said.

Thursday’s earnings were led by the information technology sector that increased 1.7 percent. Like the benchmark, it also reached record levels, boosted upwards by a rebound in the so-called “WAAAX” shares, which gained between 1.3 percent and 4.3 percent, the largest move from Altium that closed at $ 38.14.

Finance, basic consumer goods and REITs also posted gains of 1 percent or more.

Medical care increased 0.9 percent to new highs, the latter with the help of CSL, which jumped above the $ 300 level for the first time. It eventually finished 1.1 percent at $ 300.89, increasing its market capitalization to $ 135.1 billion. Credit Suisse increased its target price for the share, pointing out the potential for a better orientation in its half-year results.

Communications and discretionary consumption increased 0.8 percent each, while materials expanded 0.1 percent.

The Challenger investment manager was the one with the best performance in the benchmark, rising 5.6 percent to $ 8.80. The biotechnology company Polynovo earned 5.3 percent to $ 2.40, while Mayne Pharma Group increased 4.4 percent to $ 0.475.

On the downside, Super Retail Group lost 6 percent to $ 9.77 after Morgans analysts warned of an “indirect short-term impact” of the current forest fire crisis across the country for the diversified retailer.

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While he believes that “stocks are the right place to be” for investors, Craig said he is worried about valuations and how quickly the market is moving higher today.

“It is very difficult to think what more good news could be incorporated into the market. It seems that there is fundamentally a lot in price and valuations are a bit widespread in many sectors,” he said.

Craig said that despite the benign global context, geopolitical threats continue, including trade tensions between the United States and China.

“Trade has not disappeared and we expect trade tensions to return,” he said.

Anthony Doyle, a cross-asset specialist at Fidelity International, also warned about the potential for acceleration for the local market from abroad.

“While the conditions remain constructive for the Australian stock market, it is certainly not without risks,” he said.

“The policy based on” populism “that seems to be sweeping the world is very anti-growth in its approach.”

However, Doyle said he is still positive about the prospects for local actions this year.

“We are in the unusual position of having tailwinds of monetary and fiscal policy,” he said.

“The low interest rates combined with the fiscal stimulus are normally a positive environment for the performance of the shares.”

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There were some sources of weakness with profits 0.4 percent, the largest decrease of any sector. Industrialists fell 0.2 percent, while energy decreased 0.1 percent.

Among other frontline names, the four big banks closed higher, led by the Commonwealth, which rose 1 percent to $ 84.46. Macquarie Bank reached a record, rising 1.4 percent to $ 143.47.

QBE Insurance increased 3.4 percent to $ 13.81 after Credit Suisse updated it.

Woolworths and Telstra earned 1 percent each to close at 38.68 and $ 3.88 respectively.

Pilbara Minerals fell 2.8 percent to $ 0.35, the same percentage point decrease marked by the Domain Holdings property group that ended at $ 3.86 after the company was cut to sell by UBS for valuation reasons after the recent strength of the share price.

For the session, 123 actions won, 61 fell while 16 remained unchanged.

David Scutt covers The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age markets

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