The Business Times

Australia: Shares extend gains as commodity-exposed firms shine

Published Wed, Apr 7, 2021 · 09:04 AM

[BENGALURU] Australian shares on Wednesday extended gains for a fourth session, driven by commodity-exposed stocks on firm crude and metals prices and as investors placed bets on improving prospects for a global economic recovery.

The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 0.5 per cent to 6,920.2 points in early trade, hitting a fresh high since mid-February.

Elsewhere in Asia, Nikkei futures were up 0.4 per cent.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund raised its global economic growth forecast to 6 per cent this year, a rate unseen since the 1970s.

Strong economic data from China and the United States lifted oil prices by 1 per cent, while a retreating dollar and lower US Treasury yields boosted bullion.

While copper prices climbed on supply concerns after top producer Chile closed its borders following a spike in coronavirus infections.

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Strong commodities lifted sentiment despite the pullback on Wall Street overnight. All three major US stock indexes closed in the red, pulling back from the prior session's record closing highs, while Treasury yields edged lower.

ASX 300 metals and mining index rose 0.67 per cent, while the gold sub-index climbed 1 per cent, led by Resolute Mining Ltd that advanced 4.4 per cent.

Technology stocks rose 1.8 per cent, led by EML Payments, up 10.7 per cent, followed by NEXTDC that gained 3.6 per cent.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.68 per cent to 12,484.3.

The top percentage gainers in the benchmark index are Contact Energy, up 2.8 per cent, followed by Pushpay Holdings and Air New Zealand that climbed 2.5 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.

REUTERS

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