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Markets

Australia shares propped up by miners, tech stocks; virus worries weigh

  • The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.2% to 7,341.4 at the close of trade. During the session, the benchmark touched its highest level since June 18
Published July 8, 2021
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Australian shares ended modestly higher on Thursday, supported by mining and tech stocks, although concerns over the economic impact of coronavirus-led lockdowns in the country limited gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.2% to 7,341.4 at the close of trade. During the session, the benchmark touched its highest level since June 18.

Australia's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), on Thursday reported its biggest daily rise in locally acquired cases of COVID-19 for the year.

Australian, NZ shares lower

"Logically speaking, I would think that we're probably going see another extension of the lockdown. I don't think next week is the last part," said Mathan Somasundaram, chief executive officer of Deep Data Analytics.

"It is mainly the mining sector that is holding the benchmark up helped by the falling Aussie dollar."

The Australian dollar was under pressure on Thursday with a further lockdown in Sydney challenging the domestic economic outlook.

ASX 300 metals and mining index rose nearly 1%, with heavyweight miners Fortescue Metals and BHP Group closing up 0.7% and 1.8%, respectively.

Technology stocks rose 1.3%, extending gains into a second straight session, after the Nasdaq closed at a record high overnight.

The rally was led by software provider Nuix Ltd, up 9.5%, and aerial imagery provider Nearmap Ltd, which gained 6.6%.

tHE ASX 200 Energy index fell 0.36?% led by Whitehaven Coal Ltd, down 2.7%, as oil prices extended losses.

Meanwhile, Australia's central bank on Thursday sought to drive home the message that a step-down in bond purchases did not represent a withdrawal of support, rejecting views it had embarked on a policy tightening path.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.04% at 12,752.5.

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