Australian Market Extends Gains

(RTTNews) - The Australian stock market is rising on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session following the record highs overnight on Wall Street amid upbeat news on the coronavirus front. Investor sentiment also received a boost as the rate of coronavirus infections continued to ease in Victoria.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 41.60 points or 0.68 percent to 6,171.20, after touching a high of 6,199.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is advancing 42.30 points or 0.67 percent to 6,342.60. Australian stocks closed higher on Monday.

The big four banks - National Australia Bank, Westpac, ANZ Banking and Commonwealth Bank - are rising in a range of 2.0 percent to 2.9 percent.

The major miners are also higher. Fortescue Metals is advancing almost 1 percent, Rio Tinto is adding 0.7 percent and BHP Group is up 0.4 percent.

Oil stocks are advancing after crude oil prices rose overnight. Oil Search and Santos are rising more than 1 percent each, while Woodside Petroleum is adding almost 1 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are weak after safe-haven gold prices declined overnight. Evolution Mining is losing almost 2 percent and Newcrest Mining is lower by more than 1 percent.

Westfield shopping centres operator Scentre Group reported a net operating loss of A$3.6 billion for the half year, after writing down the value of its 42 properties due the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Scentre's shares are rising more than 4 percent.

Ansell reported a 42 percent surge in full-year profit on strong sales of its personal protective equipment due to the coronavirus pandemic. The protective gloves and clothing maker's shares are adding 0.6 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is slightly higher against the US dollar on Tuesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7165, compared to Monday's close of $0.7160.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Monday following upbeat news on the coronavirus front. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Sunday that it has issued an emergency use authorization for investigational convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. Adding to the positive sentiment, a report from the Financial Times said the Trump administration is considering fast-tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine from the U.K. for use in America ahead of the presidential election.

The Dow surged up 378.13 points or 1.4 percent to 28,308.46, the Nasdaq advanced 67.92 points or 0.6 percent to 11,379.72 and the S&P 500 jumped 34.12 points or 1 percent to 3,431.28.

The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index spiked by 2.3 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices jumped on Monday as the threat of hurricanes in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico brought oil production to a halt. WTI crude futures added $0.28 or 0.66 percent to settle at $42.62 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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