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Australia: Shares rise as strong US jobs data rekindles recovery hopes

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Australian shares rose on Friday, on track for a fourth straight session of gains, after a record surge in US payrolls for June raised hopes that a recovery from the coronavirus-led economic downturn was underway.

[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose on Friday, on track for a fourth straight session of gains, after a record surge in US payrolls for June raised hopes that a recovery from the coronavirus-led economic downturn was underway.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.05 per cent to 6,096 points in early trade.

The benchmark index also looked set to rise nearly 3 per cent for the week, benefiting from hopes of further stimulus measures, optimistic data that showed factory activity rebound in the United States and China, and encouraging results from a Covid-19 vaccine trial.

Overnight, the three major US indexes gained between 0.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent as US nonfarm payrolls jumped by a record 4.8 million in June.

Down under, the energy subindex was up 1.4 per cent as oil prices rose on strong US jobs data and a drawdown in crude inventories.

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Financial stocks rose nearly 1 per cent, with all of the 'big four' banks trading higher.

The gold subindex rose 0.88 per cent, led by Silver Lake Resources, as prices of the safe-haven metal rose overnight despite a rise in risk sentiment.

Healthcare stocks were up 1.4 per cent, with heavyweight CSL Ltd gaining 1.6 per cent.

Industrial stocks were 1.2 per cent higher, and the technology subindex advanced 1.6 per cent.

Buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay hit a record high as RBC Capital Markets more than doubled the price target on the company's stock and joined Citi in talking up its prospects.

Shipbuilder Austal was among the top gainers on the benchmark after brokerage Citi said the US Navy's likely increase of focus on smaller autonomous ships would benefit the company.

The number of issues on the ASX that advanced were 776, while 248 declined.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.91 per cent, helped by industrial stocks like Auckland International Airport Ltd rising 3.8 per cent.

REUTERS

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