(RTTNews.com) - The Australian stock market is advancing on Thursday with broad-based gains following the overnight rally on Wall Street on the heels of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks that were seen as dovish for interest rates. In addition, higher metals prices boosted mining stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 47.10 points or 0.82 percent to 5,772.20, off a high of 5,778.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 48.50 points or 0.84 percent to 5,848.60. Australian stocks ended little changed on Wednesday.
The major miners are notably higher as iron ore and copper prices rose overnight. Fortescue Metals is higher by 4 percent, Rio Tinto is gaining almost 3 percent and BHP is rising almost 2 percent.
Rio Tinto said it has approved a A$3.5 billion investment in its new Kookaideri iron ore mine, creating 600 permanent jobs in Western Australia.
Gold miners are also higher after gold prices rose overnight. Evolution Mining is up 0.2 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding 0.4 percent.
In the banking sector, National Australia Bank, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Banking are up in a range of 0.5 percent to almost 1 percent.
Oil stocks are also rising despite a more than 2 percent fall in crude oil prices overnight. Santos is advancing almost 2 percent, Oil Search is adding more than 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is up 0.5 percent.
Aristocrat Leisure reported a 10 percent increase in full-year profit on a 31 percent growth in revenues, including a more than two-fold jump in digital gambling revenue. However, the gaming company's shares are losing more than 4 percent.
In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that total new capital expenditure in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2018, coming in at A$29.35 billion. That missed forecasts for an increase of 1.0 percent following the 2.5 percent contraction in the three months prior.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Thursday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7303, up from $0.7233 on Wednesday.
On Wall Street, stocks rallied on Wednesday on the heels of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks in a speech to the Economic Club of New York that were interpreted as dovish for interest rates. Powell noted interest rates are still low by historical standards and said rates are currently "just below the broad range of estimates of the level that would be neutral for the economy."
The Dow surged up 617.70 points or 2.5 percent to 25,366.43, the Nasdaq spiked 208.89 points or 3 percent to 7,291.59 and the S&P 500 soared 61.61 points or 2.3 percent to 2,743.78.
The major European markets turned in a lackluster performance on Wednesday. While the French CAC 40 Index closed nearly flat, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'sFTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices fell on Wednesday amid concerns about excess supply in the market. WTI crude oil for January delivery fell $1.27 or 2.5 percent to close at $50.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement in thirteen months.
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