It's been a decent start to this Wednesday's trading for ASX shares and the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO). At the time of writing, the ASX 200 has bounced by a healthy 0.69%, a pleasing turnaround from the falls we saw earlier this week. But let's talk about the ANZ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: ANZ) share price.
It's been a strange day for ANZ shares indeed. At present, this ASX 200 bank stock is up 0.26% and is sitting at $27.50 a share.
Soon after market open, ANZ stock was rising to fresh heights. The bank closed at $2.43 a share yesterday but opened at $27.50 this morning before leaping as high as $27.63. That's a new 52-week high for the ANZ share price.
Watchers of the banking sector on the ASX might have been expecting something like this to happen sooner or later. After all, recent weeks have seen a series of fresh new 52-week highs for ANZ's big four compatriots.
Of course, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) has also been flying at high altitudes. CBA shares have clocked not just new 52-week highs, but new all-time highs after new all-time highs over the past month. Its most recent high watermark stands at $118.24.
With all of this going on in the ASX banking sector, it was arguably only a matter of time before ANZ was brought in from the cold.
Why is the ANZ share price clocking a new 52-week high today?
As has been the case with the fresh highs of the other ASX banks recently, there's been no obvious, concrete news that can explain today's new ANZ share price elevation. It seems that, in line with broader market sentiment, investors have been pushing the share prices of the big four banks higher out of sheer optimism.
As we covered last week, the ASX 200's recent all-time highs of its own have arguably been spurred by renewed hopes of a soft economic landing following the interest rate hikes of the past two years. Not to mention optimism that interest rates will start falling in 2024.
Banks are some of the ASX's most economically sensitive companies. As such, they tend to become more profitable when the economy is in a healthy state. Especially so if interest rates are falling, rather than rising.
ANZ investors, as of today, have enjoyed a return of 7.17% over the past 12 months. Since mid-November, the ANZ share price is up around 14%. However, investors are still about 6% underwater since ANZ's 2021 highs of over $29 a share.