Westpac up after positive Fed comments

Westpac (ASX: WBC) and the other banks have again led the S&P/ASX 200 (^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up yesterday, with the index hitting a high of 5,008.8 points in early morning trading before settling at around 4,990 points.

The banks reacted positively to a slight fall in US bond yields, after Ben Bernanke – the Chairman of the Federal Reserve – reassured the market that stimulus would not be reduced “until there’s traction in the broader economy”, according to CMC Market strategist Michael McCarthy.

With a lack of domestic news, the economy is currently struggling to break through the 5,000 point resistance barrier and may instead rely on upcoming earnings reports from both Australia and abroad. BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) have both released pleasing production reports this week which have restored some confidence in the market.

Meanwhile, Westpac has led the banks with its 1.2% gain compared to the others which ranged between 0.57% and 0.9%, whilst other defensives such as Telstra (ASX: TLS) and Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) also saw slight gains of 0.72% and 0.4%, respectively.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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