Markets

Australian Market Rises

(RTTNews) - The Australian stock market is rising on Thursday following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street amid optimism that U.S. lawmakers will eventually reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief bill. Resources stocks got a boost from higher commodity prices. Stocks are higher across the board.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 48.00 points or 0.80 percent to 6,049.30 and the broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 50.80 points or 0.83 percent to 6,186.70. Australian stocks closed lower on Wednesday.

Shares of Qantas Airways are gaining more than 3 percent after Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the government will continue to look at what further support can be provided to the aviation sector. Air charter operator Alliance Aviation Services is advancing almost 2 percent.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is rising more than 3 percent, Rio Tinto is advancing more than 2 percent and Fortescue Metals is adding almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are gaining after gold prices extended gains to a fourth session overnight. Evolution Mining is advancing almost 1 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding 0.4 percent.

In the oil sector, Oil Search is rising more than 2 percent, Santos is higher by almost 2 percent and Woodside Petroleum is advancing more than 1 percent after crude oil prices rose overnight.

The big four banks - Westpac, ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank - are higher in a range of 0.3 percent to 0.7 percent.

AMP Australia said its chief executive Alex Wade has resigned, while Blair Vernon from New Zealand Wealth Management will act as head of the Australian division until a successor to Wade is found. Shares of AMP are adding 0.4 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Wednesday, with the Dow showing a particularly strong upward move after entertainment giant Disney reported an unexpected adjusted fiscal third-quarter profit despite weaker-than-expected revenues. The continued strength in the broader markets reflected optimism that lawmakers will eventually reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief bill. Democratic leaders said they continue to make progress toward an agreement after meeting with Trump administration officials on Tuesday.

The Dow reached a new high for the session in the final minutes of trading before closing up 373.05 points or 1.4 percent at 27,201.52. The Nasdaq climbed 57.23 points or 0.5 percent to 10,998.40 and the S&P 500 advanced 21.26 points or 0.6 percent to a five-month closing high of 3,327.77.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Wednesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index rose by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Wednesday, lifted by data showing a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended July 31. WTI crude for September delivery climbed $0.49 or about 1.2 percent to $42.19 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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