The Business Times

Australia: Shares close at record high as miners gain

Published Tue, Jul 27, 2021 · 02:59 PM

[BENGALURU] Australian shares registered a record closing high on Tuesday, boosted by mining stocks after BlueScope Steel issued a robust full-year earnings outlook.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5 per cent to end at 7,431.4 points, its highest close ever. Earlier in the session, the index hit a record high of 7,447.9 points.

The Aussie benchmark has been "trading in a tight range... waiting for fresh catalysts", said Margaret Yang, a strategist at Singapore-based IG, in a note.

"A major resistance level can be found at around 7,500... the overall trend remains bullish-biased, as suggested by the consecutive higher highs and higher lows formed over the past few months", Ms Yang added.

Adding to the upbeat mood, Victoria state was set to lift a strict lockdown after curtailing the spread of Covid-19.

However, neighbouring New South Wales saw daily new cases spike to a 16-month peak.

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Among sectors, mining stocks led the gains, with global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto advancing 2.8 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

Shares of BlueScope Steel jumped 6.7 per cent to its highest since October 2008, after the steelmaker predicted that its full-year operating earnings would more than triple to about A$1.72 billion (S$1.72 billion).

Energy stocks rose 1.3 per cent as oil prices advanced on bets that tight supply and rising vaccination rates would help offset any impact on demand due to rising virus cases.

Gas explorer Woodside Petroleum gained 1.9 per cent and engineering services provider Worley was up 3.9 per cent.

Gold miner OZ Minerals jumped more than 9 per cent after reporting a 33 per cent rise in quarterly copper production and raising its full-year gold output forecast.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7 per cent to 12,590.3, hurt by losses among utility and healthcare stocks.

REUTERS

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