Australian stocks end higher on energy stocks, miners rise
The S & P / ASX 200 index rose 0.35% to close at 7,379.3 points, rebounding from a 0.4% decline on Friday.
A flurry of deal updates and earnings improvements also helped improve market sentiment at the start of a week dominated by policy meetings at global central banks.
“The market is trading in limited volume today with commodities stocks dominating the theme, mainly as investors continue to ignore Omicron’s concerns,” said Brad Smoling, Managing Director of Smoling Stockbroking.
“The market movement today is just a continuation of the rally of relief we saw last week, it is widespread.”
Real estate investor Charter Hall jumped 3.1% to a record high and was among the biggest gainers in the benchmark after raising its earnings forecast for the second time in two months.
Energy stocks rose 1.68% as oil prices extended their rally on bets that the Omicron variant is likely to have a limited impact on global fuel demand.
Heavyweights Beach Energy and Worley led the gains on the sub-index, adding 3.4% and 2.7% respectively.
Major miners rose 1.89% as Chinese iron ore futures rebounded on a positive demand outlook.
Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue gained between 2.6% and 3.1%.
Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals beat its bid on Canadian nickel producer Noront Resources, shortly after failing to strike a deal to back a competing bid from BHP Group.
Insurers were among the worst performers on the local stock exchange after a brokerage firm downgraded Insurance Australia Group to “sell”. The stock slipped 3.6% to its lowest level in nine years. Rivals QBE Insurance Group and Suncorp lost 3.3% and 1.1% respectively.
New Zealand’s benchmark S & P / NZX 50 rose 1.1% to end the session at 12,994.2 points.