Australian shares closed marginally higher on Monday amid choppy trade, as mining and energy stocks rose, while the Labor Party’s Anthony Albanese was sworn in as the prime minister after his party’s victory in an election after almost a decade.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.1% higher at 7,148.90, after falling as much as 0.14% during the session.
Albanese was sworn in as the country’s 31st prime minister on Monday, as he vowed to tackle climate change and inequality.
The markets offered a muted reaction to the change, which had already been flagged by opinion polls for weeks.
“Historically, it (the election) has not really been a market moving event, and it’s probably hard to associate the movements today with the change in the government,” said Steven Daghlian, a market analyst at CommSec.
Daghlian said it is crucial to see whether the Labor Party forms a majority government or is forced to form a coalition, and it will probably be longer until any major policy decisions start affecting the market.
Heavyweight mining stocks led the gains on the benchmark, ending up 0.8% at 5,863.9 — a more than two-week high.
BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group climbed between 1.1% and 2.8%.
Iron ore futures rose about 7% in early trade after India increased export duties on some commodities to rein in broadening inflationary pressures.
Financial stocks fell 0.4% and were the biggest drag to the benchmark.
The “Big Four” banks slipped 0.1%-0.9%. Meanwhile, analysts at RBC Capital Markets said in a note that Labor Party’s election win will keep pressure on the Reserve Bank of Australia to continue to normalise policy and move towards neutral sooner rather than later.
Looking ahead, Daghlian expects investors to focus overseas for interesting drivers.
New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index closed 0.4% higher at 11,316.46.