The Australian share market has finished at a two-week high after US economic data supported hopes for rate cuts later this year while assuaging concerns about an economic slowdown.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Thursday finished up 52.8 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 7,821.8, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 52.1 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 8,074.3.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq and the S&P500 both rallied to finish at all-time highs following weaker-than-expected monthly jobs figures from private payroll processor ADP, as well as a stronger-than-expected service-sector business report from the Institute for Supply Management. analyst Kyle Rodda called the readouts “as close to a Goldilocks print as you can get in this environment”, simultaneously increasing hopes of a US interest rate cut by November while easing fears of a marked slowdown in economic activity.

The market’s implied odds of a US rate cut by mid-September grew to about two in three following the readout, up from 50-50 a week ago, although the release of official monthly jobs figures on Friday is set to shift those expectations again.

“Things are changing by the day and by the hour,” Zaye chief investment officer Naeem Aslam said.

Overnight the Bank of Canada became the first major central bank to cut rates, with the European Central Bank expected to do so at its meeting later on Thursday.

All of the ASX’s 11 sectors finished in the green on Thursday, with tech the biggest winner, climbing 1.4 per cent as AI chipmaker Nvidia overtook Apple to become the world’s second-most valuable company. 

Wisetech Global added 2.8 per cent and Xero rose 1.8 per cent.

All of the Big Four banks finished higher, with Commonwealth Bank up 1.1 per cent to an all-time closing high of $124.85. CBA shares also changed hands above $125 for the first time ever, reaching as high as $125.97 in intraday trading.

As for the other big retail banks, ANZ added 1.0 per cent to $29.06, Westpac climbed 0.8 per cent to $26.97 and NAB advanced 0.6 per cent to $35.

There were some big losses as well.

Skycity Entertainment Group plunged 13.7 per cent to an all-time low of $1.385 after the Kiwi casino company lowered guidance, saying it expected to make a full-year net profit of about $NZ122.5 million, down from its previous estimate of $NZ130 million.

Skycity blamed a challenging economic environment impacting consumer spending, delays to its Horizon Hotel project in Auckland and a potential increase in Adelaide casino duty expense following a court ruling on loyalty points.

IDP Education dropped 7.5 per cent to a nearly four-year low of $14.51 after the overseas student placement company said new student visa restrictions in Australia, the UK and Canada would reduce placements by 20 to 25 per cent in 2024/25.

On the flip side, Coronado Global Resources was the biggest gainer in the ASX200, rising 6.5 per cent to $1.235 as the coking coal producer held its annual general meeting.

Goldminers were rebounding as the precious metal rose to change hands at $US2,367 an ounce, with Northern Star and Newmont both rising 1.3 per cent and Evolution climbing 2.1 per cent.

Elsewhere in the sector, Rio Tinto slid 0.9 per cent to $124.51 and Fortescue dipped 0.3 per cent to $24.06, while BHP was up 0.3 per cent to $44.05.

The Australian dollar was buying 66.60 US cents, from 66.57 US cents at Wednesday’s ASX close.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Thursday gained 52.8 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 7,821.8

* The broader All Ordinaries rose 52.1 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 8,074.3.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 66.60 US cents, from 66.57 US cents at Wednesday’s ASX close

* 103.77 Japanese yen, from 103.63 Japanese yen

* 61.20 Euro cents, from 61.19 euro cents

* 52.07 British pence, from 52.13 pence

* 107.55 NZ cents, from 107.71 NZ cents