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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Indexes  >  Australian Stock Exchange  >  S&P/ASX 200    XJO   XC0006013624

S&P/ASX 200

(XJO)
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Australia shares rise on lift from financial, energy stocks

10/21/2020 | 01:47am EST

* "Big Four" banks boost financial sub-index

* Woodside, Santos advance ahead of qtrly production on Thursday

* Healthcare stocks mark worst session since Oct.2

Oct 21 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed higher on Wednesday, supported by gains in financial and energy stocks, on hopes that the United States was nearing a deal on a stimulus package.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.1% higher at 6,191.80 following Tuesday's 0.7% slide.

Wall Street gained overnight as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed hopes of clearing the coronavirus relief package this week, bringing some stability to markets amid heightened uncertainty ahead of the presidential election.

"At the moment where we are being pushed and shoved around by the hopes for U.S. stimulus... hopes yet again that they are going to get something before the election," said Henry Jennings, a senior analyst and portfolio manager at Marcustoday.

Adding to the upbeat mood, AstraZeneca Plc's COVID-19 vaccine trial in the United States was expected to resume as early as this week, a Reuters report said.

Australia's financial sub-index rose about 1%, boosted by gains in the "Big Four" banks.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp rose between 0.8% and 1.6%.

"If we see U.S. futures doing well, our market will tend to follow and the banks being such a big part of our index, that's one of the places that people put their money," Jennings said.

U.S. stock futures were up 0.71%.

The energy sector rose 1.3% boosted by Woodside Petroleum and Santos, which gained about 2% each, ahead of their quarterly production numbers on Thursday.

On the downside, healthcare stocks closed down 1.1% and marked its worst session since Oct. 2. Industry behemoth CSL slid 1.3%, while Mesoblast declined 4.4%.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped 0.2% to finish the session at 12,432.61, with losses led by Scales Corporation Ltd and Goodman Property Trust , which fell about 2.8% each.

(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ASTRAZENECA PLC -2.50% 7800 Delayed Quote.5.17%
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED 3.00% 23.66 End-of-day quote.-3.94%
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA 1.49% 82.37 End-of-day quote.3.09%
CSL LIMITED -2.50% 310.61 End-of-day quote.12.64%
GOODMAN PROPERTY TRUST 0.00% 2.38 End-of-day quote.7.21%
MESOBLAST LIMITED -7.16% 4.15 End-of-day quote.99.52%
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED 3.09% 24.05 End-of-day quote.-2.35%
S&P/ASX 200 -0.16% 6673.7 Real-time Quote.-0.60%
SANTOS LIMITED 2.67% 6.53 End-of-day quote.-20.17%
SCALES CORPORATION LIMITED 1.88% 4.87 End-of-day quote.-2.79%
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION 2.15% 20.89 End-of-day quote.-13.78%
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LTD 2.96% 23.31 End-of-day quote.-32.20%
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