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Markets

Australia shares post first weekly gain in three on boost from miners

  • Bucking the trend, technology stocks fell 2.3% as investors turned back to value stocks on recovery hopes, intensified by sell-off in US peers.
07 May 2021

Australian shares ended higher on Friday, posting a weekly gain after two straight weeks of losses, as soaring commodity prices boosted miners, while the central bank raising its forecasts for the economy also buoyed sentiment.

Global stocks rose ahead of US jobs report and Federal Reserve's stance on monetary stimulus later in the day.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.3% higher at 7,080.80, while gaining 0.8% for the week.

The Reserve Bank of Australia predicted economic growth to hit near double digits in the current quarter, while emphasising that the wage growth is too slow.

"We had a bounce back today from Thursday's declines, while US markets helped the sentiment with Dow Jones' closing high," said James Tao, market analyst at CommSec.

"The fact that there were zero community transmission cases of COVID-19 (in Australia) certainly lifted the mood."

That helped travel stocks rebound from Thursday's losses, with online travel bookings provider Webjet and tourism services providers Flight Centre Travel gaining 7.4% and 7.3%, respectively.

Metals and mining index rose 1.3%, as iron ore and copper hit record highs, with heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto gained 0.6% and 1.1%, respectively.

Gold stocks rose 3.4% on firmer bullion prices, with index heavyweight Newcrest Mining surging 3.8%.

Financial stocks rose 0.5%, with the "Big Four" banks gaining between 0.3% and 1.1%. Financial conglomerate Macquarie Group declined 0.4%, even as it posted a record annual profit, beating its guidance.

Bucking the trend, technology stocks fell 2.3% as investors turned back to value stocks on recovery hopes, intensified by sell-off in US peers.

The sub-index shed 10.5% for the week, its biggest weekly drop in 11. Buy-now-pay-later giant Afterpay shed 18.9% for the week.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.2% to end the session at 12,729.92, in its third consecutive session of losses.

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