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Markets

Australia shares end higher on commodities rally, travel stocks jump

  • The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.2% at 7,503 points at the close of trade, gaining for the second consecutive day. It was up nearly 0.5% earlier in the session
Published August 24, 2021
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Australian shares ended higher on Tuesday as local energy firms and miners rallied on strong commodity prices and travel stocks gained as talks of reopening the economy gather steam.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.2% at 7,503 points at the close of trade, gaining for the second consecutive day. It was up nearly 0.5% earlier in the session.

The energy sub-index surged 2.8%, helped by higher oil prices. The rally was led by Ampol Ltd, climbing 4%.

Similarly, strong iron ore prices helped miners, with Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals all rising over 1% each.

A solid US session overnight on full FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine further boosted sentiment. Nasdaq reached an all-time closing high, boosting the local tech stocks, to gain 0.6%.

Nanosonics, the disinfection technology firm, soared nearly 22% and was the top gainer on the local bourse on anticipating a return to double-digit growth in total revenue in FY22.

Travel stocks were among the top gainers on the benchmark, as the country's government pandemic panel backed reopening plans. Flight Travel Centre Group and Webjet advanced over 6.5% each.

Steven Daghlian, a market analyst at CommSec, said even with talks of reopening, the market is going to be cautious as COVID-19 virus continues to spread.

Market participants looked ahead to annual results from blue-chip firms like Afterpay, Qantas Airways and Woolworths scheduled to report later this week.

"The overall trend remains bullish-biased, as suggested by the consecutive higher highs and higher lows formed over the past few months," Margaret Yang, DailyFX strategist, said in a note referring to the Australian benchmark.

Among individual stocks, Kogan.com and Monadelphous Group were the biggest drags, down 15.8% and 14.4%, respectively, on uncertain outlook and labour shortage pressures.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged up 0.06% to finish the session at 13,071.86 points.

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