Australian shares climb after Easter trading break

William Ton |

The Australian share market has hopped into the green with most sectors finishing higher on the first trading day since the Easter break.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed Tuesday up 90.9 points, or 1.26 per cent, to 7,309.9, while the All Ordinaries finished 92.2 points higher, or 1.24 per cent, to 7,504.2.

The local market rallied after a disappointing close before the four-day weekend, spurred on by its US counterpart’s reaction to stronger-than-expected employment data in the States released on Friday.

The US market ended slightly higher overnight after clawing back losses despite fears the Federal Reserve may need to raise interest rates in May due to inflation concerns.

An indication of where inflation is heading in the US will become clearer once the March consumer price index data is released on Wednesday.

The US market is expecting an uncomfortably high core reading of 0.4 per cent for March, BetaShares chief economist David Bassanese told AAP.

“That’s going to set the tone for this week. If it surprises on the upside, funds will sell off and that will hurt equities. But if it surprises on the low side, both bonds and equities will rally,” he said.

Ten of the ASX’s 11 official sectors were up by Tuesday’s close, bolstered by the materials sector, which saw a 2.2 per cent sector-wide bump.

Goldminer Newcrest Mining ended the day with a 5.2 per cent increase to $29.74 after receiving a $A30 billion updated non-binding takeover bid from the world’s largest goldminer, Newmont.

Iron ore heavyweights Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto saw gains of 2.9 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.

BHP gained 2.1 per cent after Vietnam’s competition watchdog approved the metal mining company’s proposed $9.5 billion takeover of copper miner OZ Minerals.

Copper and goldminer Evolution Mining was up 3.9 per cent to $3.51 despite downgrading its guidance for the third quarter after its Canadian mine underperformed and as its Queensland mine remained offline due to heavy rain.

Clean hydrogen company Hazer was seeing green after announcing it had signed a non-binding agreement with Japanese power companies Chubu Electric and Chiyoda Corporation to develop a pathway to setting up a facility in Japan.

The WA-based company’s share price shot up 11 per cent to $6.10 by Tuesday’s close.

Technology was the only sector to lose ground, dropping 0.07 per cent into the red, led by software company Wisetech, which saw a 1.2 per cent drop in its share price.

The financial sector had a healthy 1.2 per cent gain at noon with the major banks all in the positive.

Westpac led the way with a 1.8 per cent rise, closely followed by ANZ which added 1.6 per cent.

NAB and CBA trailed not too far off with 1.3 per cent and 0.8 per cent rises, respectively.

The Australian dollar was buying 66.69 US cents, down from 67.02 US cents on Thursday.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Tuesday up 90.9 points, or 1.26 per cent, at 7,309.9.

* The broader All Ordinaries was up 92.2 points, or 1.24 per cent, to 7,504.2.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 66.69 US cents, from 67.02 US cents at Thursday’s ASX close

* 88.89 Japanese yen, from 87.98 Japanese yen

* 61.21 Euro cents, from 61.38 Euro cents

* 53.66 British pence, from 53.67 British pence

* 107.22 NZ cents, from 106.58 NZ cents.