The Financial Express

Australian shares flat in low-volume trade

Published: January 02, 2018 13:05:40 | Updated: January 03, 2018 12:22:08

ASX flat in low-volume trade

Australian shares were little changed on Tuesday, their first day of trade in 2018, struggling for cues as major financial markets worldwide remained shut for the New Year’s holiday.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was marginally higher at 0028 GMT. The benchmark fell 0.4 per cent on the last trading day of 2017, but logged a 7.0 per cent gain for the year, reports Reuters.

Material stocks accounted for most the gains on the index, with iron ore miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto edging up 0.4 per cent each.

Rio touched its highest since Aug. 2011, and was set for its 10th straight session of gains, while BHP headed for its sixth session on top.

Gold miners also enjoyed modest gains as the metal touched a three-month high on Friday thanks to a weak dollar, political tensions and receding concerns over the impact of US interest rate hikes.

Newcrest Mining was among the best performers on the index, climbing as much as 1.5 per cent.

Shares of Brambles rose 1.8 per cent in their biggest single-day spike in almost six weeks after the pallets and container company said it estimates a $125 million to $155 million one-time benefit due to the passing of new US tax laws.

New Zealand is closed for a public holiday, with the financial market reopening for trade on Wednesday.

The NZ benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index gained 22 per cent in 2017 and extended its annual winning streak to a sixth consecutive year.

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