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Financials lift Australian shares higher; miners drop on subdued iron ore

  • Miners were also one of the biggest drags, shedding as much as 1.4% due to a fall in iron ore prices
Published August 9, 2021
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Australian shares were slightly higher on Monday as losses in heavyweight miners were countered by strong advances in financials, with investors upbeat as corporate earnings season picks up pace.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.12% to 7,547.7 by 0029 GMT. The benchmark closed up 0.4% at a record high of 7,538.4 on Friday.

Among financials, top lenders Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp advanced as much as 1% and 1.1%, respectively, pushing the index 1.2% higher.

Insurance giant Suncorp Group Ltd was the top gainer on the index, jumping 6.41%, followed by Insurance Australia Group Ltd, gaining 3.21%.

Australian shares drop 1% as travel stocks weigh

Suncorp posted a 13% rise in its annual net profit after tax to A$1.03 billion ($755.30 million) and announced a special dividend payout.

Australia's second largest lender Westpac Banking Corp announced sale of its domestic life insurance business to Japan's Dai-ichi Life Holdings for A$900 million ($660 million), as part of efforts to focus on its core businesses.

Gold stocks were the biggest drag on the index, down 3.62%, tracking a more than 2% drop in bullion after a strong US jobs report boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its economic support sooner than previously anticipated.

Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti Ltd led the losses on the sub-index, skidding 12.13%, followed by De Grey Mining Ltd , losing 9.06%.

Miners were also one of the biggest drags, shedding as much as 1.4% due to a fall in iron ore prices.

Major players BHP Group and Fortescue were among the biggest losers on the benchmark, falling between 0.6% and 1.1%.

Elsewhere, S&P 500 E-minis futures were down 0.34%.

In New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.31% to 12,809.7.

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