Banks and miners propel ASX higher

Australian retail sales fell sharply in December.

Total turnover slumped 0.5 per cent over the month after seasonal adjustments, according to data from the ABS, more than double the 0.2 per cent drop forecast by economists.

The sharp drop followed sales growth of 1.0 per cent in November that was larger than the 0.9 per cent lift originally reported.

Despite the big sales miss in December, total sales volumes over the quarter grew by 0.5 per cent, higher than the 0.3 per cent increase expected. As such, retail spending will add more to Australian GDP growth in the December quarter than what was originally expected.

Elsewhere, Australia’s trade surplus declined unexpectedly in December, falling to $5.223 billion from a downwardly revised $5.518 billion surplus in November.

Markets were looking for the surplus to expand to $5.95 billion.


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