ASX hits record highs as US earnings season ramps up

Coupled with a strong Chinese trade report for December, those feel-good vibes flowed through to the local market with every sector closing higher on Tuesday, led by gains of more than 1.2 per cent for industrials, utilities, materials and consumer staples.

Supermarket operators were in demand with Woolworths climbing 2.5 per cent to $38.38 while Coles Group added 1.4 per cent to $15.69, coinciding with a bullish analyst note from UBS.

Among the miners, Rio Tinto rose 1.9 per cent to $103.97, BHP Group 1.3 per cent to $40.05 while Fortescue added 1.9 per cent to $10.99.

Among the banks, Macquarie jumped 1.2 per cent to $141.13, closing at record highs. Three of the big four banks finished higher, led by the Commonwealth which rose 0.8 per cent to $83.17. Westpac was the exception, falling 0.1 per cent to $24.57.

Pilbara Minerals was the top performer on the benchmark for the session, soaring 11.4 per cent to $0.39. Other suppliers of battery materials also enjoyed strong gains on Tuesday.

Pendal Group finished at the other end of the score board, declining 5.1 per cent after reporting further client fund outflows in the final quarter of 2018.


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