Australia: Financials, tech stocks drive market higher

[SYDNEY] Australian shares settled higher on Tuesday for the seventh straight session, as financials jumped on some economic optimism and dividend hopes, and technology stocks tracked Wall Street higher.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1 per cent to 6,195.70, adding about 7 per cent during the seven sessions of gains through Tuesday.

Financials closed 1.7 per cent higher, after having hit their highest level since Aug 12 earlier in the session, with the "Big Four" banks adding between 1.7 per cent and 3.3 per cent.

"There are some signs that there is a bit of optimism for the economy moving forward, and that's helping banks have a pretty good run," said James Tao, a market analyst at CommSec.

Last week, the Australian government pledged billions in tax cuts and measures to boost jobs, which was quite accommodative for the economy.

Additionally, eased lending standards for banks have also brightened growth prospects for the economy, which slid into recession for the first time in nearly 30 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Banks are still tempting for punters who believe dividends will come back," said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling Stockbroking.

Technology stocks tracked a rally in their US peers, particularly in Apple I and Amazon , and rose 1.6 per cent to a record.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index gained 0.79 per cent to a record close of 12,453.9.


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