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Markets

Australian shares jump on banking, energy boost; eye best week in nearly 3 months

  • Energy sector climbed almost 2% as oil prices rallied on falling inventories and producer club OPEC extending output cuts.
05 Feb 2021

Australian shares rose on Friday, led by banking stocks after the country's central bank signalled it would extend monetary policy support for longer, while overnight Wall Street gains also aided sentiment.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1%, or 66.9 points, to 6,832.40 by 0012 GMT, with energy and tech stocks also adding to gains. The benchmark was on track to post a 3.3% weekly jump, its best performance since Nov. 13. The index fell 0.9% on Thursday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said it believes the country's economy would require significant monetary policy support for some time despite a better-than-expected performance last year.

Earlier this week, RBA left its cash rate at a record low of 0.1%, but surprised markets by extending its quantitative easing programme by another A$100 billion ($76.06 billion).

Wall Street's major indexes hit record highs overnight on upbeat corporate earnings and labour data.

Tech-heavy Nasdaq's record run helped Australian peers shoot up 2%, with aerial imagery maker Nearmap Ltd leading gains on the sub-index.

Heavyweight financial stocks advanced 1.9% to hit an 11-month high, with the 'Big Four' banks gaining between 0.9% and 2.5%.

Energy sector climbed almost 2% as oil prices rallied on falling inventories and producer club OPEC extending output cuts.

Gas producer Santos Ltd and oil drilling services provider Worley Ltd, jumped about 3% each to top the sub-index.

Australia-listed shares of News Corp jumped 12% to hit a record high and were the biggest gainer on the benchmark, as the media giant's quarterly net income more than doubled.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3% or 44.8 points to 13,035.4, led by SKY Network Television Ltd, and seafood processor Sanford Ltd gaining 2.8% each.