BHP, Rio shares hit heights, ASX record

BHP, Rio shares hit heights, ASX record

Shares have hit an all-time high for a second consecutive day and the big miners broke records of their own on the Australian market.

The ASX200 took only 23 minutes to better Monday's milestone and rose to a record 7433.5 points on Tuesday.

The big miners were an overwhelming force.

BHP shares extended their record price when they sold for $53.59.

The miner's shares were up 3.12 per cent to $53.53 at 1200 AEST.

Investors helped Rio Tinto rewrite its records prior to its first-half earnings on Wednesday.

Rio shares traded for a milestone $133.42. They had since eased to be higher by 2.4 per cent to $133.24.

Iron ore specialist Fortescue was just shy of its record. Shares were higher by almost two per cent to $25.92.

Elsewhere on the market, energy shares were up 1.22 per cent.

Healthcare shares dropped almost one per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 26.7 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 7421.

The All Ordinaries was up 27 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 7697.5.

The ASX gains were set up by US markets being at closing highs after their first trading day of the week.

Investors were optimistic heading into a slew of earnings from heavyweight US technology and internet names this week.

The vast majority of second-quarter earnings have handily beaten analysts' expectations so far.

A two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve will be held this week.

Much attention will be on whether the central bank offers any concerns about high inflation.

In Australia, South Australians and Victorians are set to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns in the next 24 hours.

The move will be a boost to the economy, although many restrictions will remain.

Much of NSW is likely to continue lockdown into August.

In company news, BlueScope Steel is on course for record earnings.

The company said unaudited figures showed the best full-year underlying earnings ($1.72 billion) since its demerger.

Rising steel prices in the US and strong demand in Australia and New Zealand contributed to success.

Shares were up 5.09 per cent to $24.13.

Oil Search said it was on track to meet full-year production and capital spending targets.

The company posted second-quarter earnings which included sales revenue improving by 21.5 per cent on the first quarter.

First-half earnings are due on August 24.

Shares were up 0.37 per cent to $3.96.

Miner IGO will form a joint venture with the Creasy Group to explore around the Silver Knight nickel-copper deposit in Western Australia.

IGO is paying the Creasy Group $45 million to form the venture and buy the deposit.

Shares were higher by 2.46 per cent to $9.15.

There was little movement of note in banking.

The Commonwealth Bank was best of the big four and higher by 0.83 per cent to $99.97.

NAB fared worst of the group and lost 0.34 per cent to $25.85.

The Australian dollar was buying 73.81 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 73.46 US cents at Monday's close.

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