The Business Times

Australia: Miners, gold stocks push shares to 1-1/2 month high

Published Thu, Oct 27, 2022 · 04:07 PM

AUSTRALIAN shares rose to their highest levels in over a month on Thursday (Oct 27), helped by firm commodity prices, although gains were capped by worries over the country’s hotter-than-expected inflation reading.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5 per cent to 6,845.10 points at the close of trading. The benchmark climbed 0.3 per cent on Tuesday.

Domestic mining index rose 1.9 per cent as a slew of positive production reports from miners tempered concerns about retreating iron ore prices, which slumped on a gloomy demand outlook for steel-making commodities in top consumer China.

“It is true that there has been a bit of slowdown in terms of demand but most miners performed well and are still on track to meet their annual targets,” said Azeem Sheriff, market analyst at CMC Markets.

World’s No 4 miner Fortescue Metals reported a 4.2 per cent rise in first-quarter shipments and kept its full year forecast unchanged.

Lynas, the biggest rare Earths miner outside China, also reported a 34.7 per cent jump in its first-quarter revenue, sending its shares up to their highest level in one and a half months.

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Gold stocks climbed 3.7 per cent as bullion prices rose on a weaker US dollar, while energy index rose 2.4 per cent as oil prices advanced on strong US crude exports and a weaker US dollar.

Financials dropped nearly 0.4 per cent, a day after data showed that Australia’s inflation raced to a 32-year high last quarter, putting pressure on the central bank to return to more aggressive rate hikes.

Shares of three of the four big banks fell between 0.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent, but Commonwealth Bank of Australia advanced 0.4 per cent

Meanwhile, shares of Australian Clinical Labs tumbled to a record low, after its Medlab Pathology business suffered a data breach that affected about 223,000 accounts, marking corporate Australia’s fourth major hack since September.

“If attacks like these keep continuing, there will be a lot of pressure on the companies, especially the financial institutions, to reinforce their cyber security,” CMC’s Sheriff said.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5 per cent to finish the session at 11,100.52 points. REUTERS

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