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Australian shares close at record highs on miners boost

08/04/2021 | 03:30am EDT

* Iron ore miners lead gains

* Afterpay ends two-day run of gains

Aug 4 (Reuters) - Australian stocks closed at a record high on Wednesday, boosted by miners after iron ore prices rose, while shares of Afterpay paused after a two-day run of stellar gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended up 0.4% at 7,503.2, with miners adding 1.3% as supply concerns lifted iron ore prices.

Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals Group climbed between 1.6% and 2.7%.

"Miners and energy stocks are moving on reflation, with BHP alone pushing the market up many points," Mathan Somasundaram, CEO at Deep Data Analytics, said, adding that the market was ignoring lockdowns and assuming more handouts by the government.

Afterpay fell 0.9%, snapping a two-day strong rally that saw it add about 33% after it backed a $29 billion buyout by Jack Dorsey's payments company Square.

Its smaller buy now, pay later peers also ended mixed, with Zip Co Ltd down 0.6% and Sezzle up 1.4%. Some analysts expect the Afterpay deal to lead to consolidation in the sector.

Australia's so-called "Big Four" banks rose between 0.3% and 1.03%.

Energy stocks added 0.9%, led by top independent gas producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd. The company flagged a 5% increase in expected costs for its Scarborough.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.8% to 12,797.29, with top performer a2 Milk Co up 1.9%.

The country posted a strong jobs data for the second quarter, raising bets that monetary policy may be tightened this month.

Air New Zealand also said its fiscal 2022 loss would be bigger than earlier expected due to suspension of a quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia. (Reporting by Yamini C S and Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AFTERPAY LIMITED 0.88% 126.71 End-of-day quote.7.38%
AIR NEW ZEALAND LIMITED -0.65% 1.53 End-of-day quote.-15.00%
ARGOSY PROPERTY LIMITED 0.00% 1.63 End-of-day quote.2.52%
BHP GROUP 0.59% 37.75 End-of-day quote.-11.03%
CLASS III MILK FUTURES (DC) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.12% 16.63 End-of-day quote.5.13%
CLASS IV MILK?FUTURES (GDK) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.12% 16.42 End-of-day quote.19.07%
DRY WHEY?FUTURES (DY) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.09% 53.1 End-of-day quote.20.14%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED 0.34% 14.75 End-of-day quote.-37.05%
INFRATIL LIMITED -0.62% 8 End-of-day quote.9.59%
NONFAT DRY MILK FUTURES (GNF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.84% 127.275 End-of-day quote.13.68%
RAMELIUS RESOURCES LIMITED 1.83% 1.39 End-of-day quote.-17.51%
RIO TINTO PLC 0.27% 4725.5 Delayed Quote.-13.82%
S&P GSCI CLASS III MILK (USD) 0.83% 129.2331 Delayed Quote.-3.60%
S&P/ASX 200 0.35% 7273.8 Real-time Quote.10.04%
SEZZLE INC. -3.00% 5.82 End-of-day quote.-5.67%
THE A2 MILK COMPANY LIMITED -0.54% 5.55 End-of-day quote.-54.02%
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED 3.64% 2.85 End-of-day quote.73.25%
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LTD 1.65% 20.92 End-of-day quote.-8.00%
ZIP CO LIMITED -2.19% 6.24 End-of-day quote.17.96%
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