The Business Times

Australia: Shares rise as US jobs data, stimulus spur global recovery bets

Published Fri, Mar 12, 2021 · 08:52 AM

[BENGALURU] Australian shares gained on Friday as hopes of a strong global economic recovery increased after US jobless claims fell and President Joe Biden signed into law a US$1.9 trillion stimulus package.

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.6 per cent to 6,752 by 2308 GMT and was set to post its second consecutive weekly gain.

Mr Biden on Thursday signed into law one of the biggest relief packages in US history, aimed at spurring economic growth, while data showed fewer than expected Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index and the S&P 500 closed at all-time highs.

In Australia, technology stocks rose 1.5 per cent as buy now, pay later company Afterpay rose 3.1 per cent, followed by Appen, which gained 2.4 per cent.

Mining stocks added 1.4 per cent, with OZ Minerals and Pilbara Minerals advancing 3.6 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively.

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Financial stocks rose 0.5 per cent led by Insurance Australia Group and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, gaining 1.3 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.

Southern Cross Media Group slipped almost 11 per cent to a near four-month low after broadcaster Nine Entertainment said it will not extend its regional television affiliation agreement with the company.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.5 per cent to 12,327.4.

The country unveiled on Friday a NZ$31 billion (S$30 billion) transport infrastructure package for its largest city, Auckland, as it looks to address years of investment backlogs on public transport and lower emissions.

REUTERS

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