AVN 64.85 Increased By ▲ 1.25 (1.97%)
BOP 8.70 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.58%)
CHCC 124.21 Decreased By ▼ -0.29 (-0.23%)
DCL 8.90 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.56%)
DGKC 100.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.81 (-0.8%)
EFERT 61.60 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.08%)
EPCL 43.00 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.02%)
FCCL 20.40 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
FFL 13.82 Increased By ▲ 0.15 (1.1%)
HASCOL 13.57 Increased By ▲ 0.18 (1.34%)
HBL 128.82 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-0.05%)
HUBC 78.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.90 (-1.13%)
HUMNL 6.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-8.45%)
JSCL 22.30 Increased By ▲ 0.45 (2.06%)
KAPCO 27.63 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.11%)
KEL 3.61 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.28%)
LOTCHEM 12.47 Increased By ▲ 0.72 (6.13%)
MLCF 36.52 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.03%)
OGDC 97.54 Increased By ▲ 3.74 (3.99%)
PAEL 30.85 Increased By ▲ 0.50 (1.65%)
PIBTL 11.87 Increased By ▲ 0.09 (0.76%)
PIOC 83.50 Increased By ▲ 0.15 (0.18%)
POWER 9.17 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.33%)
PPL 87.93 Increased By ▲ 3.47 (4.11%)
PSO 190.28 Increased By ▲ 2.73 (1.46%)
SNGP 42.74 Decreased By ▼ -0.26 (-0.6%)
STPL 13.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.38%)
TRG 52.90 Increased By ▲ 1.57 (3.06%)
UNITY 23.62 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (1.2%)
WTL 1.00 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (1.01%)
BR100 4,194 Increased By ▲ 62.85 (1.52%)
BR30 21,088 Increased By ▲ 399.67 (1.93%)
KSE100 40,378 Increased By ▲ 514.17 (1.29%)
KSE30 17,016 Increased By ▲ 264.73 (1.58%)

SYDNEY/WELLINGTON: Australian shares closed higher on Thursday, recouping early losses due to gains in financial stocks, while New Zealand extended falls from the previous session as worries over surging global Covid-19 cases dampened sentiment.

The S&P/ASX 200 index swung into positive territory in the last hour of trade after spending most of the session in the red, closing up 0.25% at 6,547.2 points. Financial stocks extended gains to a fourth day and hit their highest in more than eight months, with the "Big Four" banks climbing between 1.2% and 2.3%.

On the other side of the ledger, gold stocks touched their lowest in nearly five months, as optimism over the new vaccine dented the appeal of the safe-haven commodity. Newcrest Mining closed down 2.6% while ASX-listed shares of AngloGold Ashanti shed 4.2%.

Miners shed 0.5% while energy stocks added 0.3%, helped by gains in Worley and Woodside Petroleum. In New Zealand, the benchmark index closed 0.4% lower at 12,557.13 points. Tourism Holdings, down 3.7%, was the biggest percentage loser, followed by Serko Ltd, slipping 2%.

US stocks closed steeply lower after a late-session sell-off on Wednesday as investors weighed surging Covid-19 infections and mounting shutdowns against encouraging vaccine developments. Adding to the risk-off mood, the state of South Australia went into strict lockdown on Thursday to stifle the latest cluster of 23 novel coronavirus infections.

A vaccine is further down the track compared to the current trend of soaring infections and restrictions hampering economic recovery, said James Tao, a market analyst at CommSec.

"The good news is kind of being pushed to one side at the moment," Tao said.