Banks outperform as investors look for safe havens
Australian shares finished mixed yesterday but the banking sector once again outperformed the wider market.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed with a gain of three points at 3,306.2.
The All Ordinaries Index rose 1.4 points to 3,251.9, while the All Industrials Index, boosted in large measure by a stronger News Corp, advanced 5.2 points to 5,658.3.
The All Resources Index slipped 3.5 points to 1,362.6.
Trading was lacklustre following a lack of positive signals from Wall Street.
One broker said the market lacked direction from the outset because of continuing uncertainty over the United States presidential election.
'We still don't have a conclusive election outcome,' he said.
In their search for stocks with good track records and positive earnings outlooks, investors pushed Australia & New Zealand Banking to a record closing high, while Westpac Banking settle stronger after touching an intraday and historic peak.
'The sector has tended to outperform because of a flight to safety as people look for sectors that will continue to perform well in a tough environment,' a fund manager said.
On the flip-side, technology stocks were sold off as investors inhaled some of Wall Street's technology earnings nervousness.
Telstra was one casualty.