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Australia: Energy stocks boost shares, New Zealand up
[BENGALURU] Australian shares gained on Friday, hitting a more than one-week high, helped by energy stocks that tracked higher oil prices, although worries remained about a second wave of Covid-19 infections around the world.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.73 per cent to 5,979.9 in early trade and hit its highest since June 11.
The index was set for a near 2 per cent weekly gain as hopes of a quick economic recovery persisted following the US Federal Reserve's move to expand its bond-buying programme on Monday, amid worries of higher Covid-19 cases in the United States and China.
On Friday, a subindex for energy stocks rose 1.4 per cent after oil futures extended gains following a meeting of Opec and its allies to review the record oil supply cuts. Brent and US WTI crude rose 0.36 per cent and 0.44 per cent each.
Cooper Energy led gains on the energy subindex with a 3.95 per cent jump.
Among individual shares and indexes, gold stocks advanced 0.88 per cent, led by Cardinal Resources, up 29.03 per cent. Its board recommended an all-cash takeover offer for the company from Shandong Gold Mining.
Prices of the yellow metal rose 0.02 per cent to US$1,722.80.
Financial stocks rose 0.56 per cent as three of the "big four" banks rose.
Miners also rose, led by New Century Resources, up 6.45 per cent.
The number of issues on the ASX that advanced were 706, while 236 declined as a 3-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.24 per cent to 11,251.8 and was set to gain more than 3 per cent for the week.