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Updated December 27th, 2023 at 08:53 IST

Australian shares hit 20-month high on Wall Street rally

Commodity stocks led the gains in broad-based buying; miners rose more than 1.3 per cent on the back of gains in iron ore prices.

Thomson Reuters
ASX
Australian shares | Image:ASX
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Australian shares rose on Wednesday to their highest level in 20 months as trade resumed after a long holiday weekend, with Wall Street's strong gains overnight underpinning the market.

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The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 0.6 per cent to 7,548.3 by 0042 GMT, hitting its highest level since April 21, 2022. Markets were closed on Monday and Tuesday on account of Christmas and Boxing Day.

US stocks extended their rally on Tuesday, kicking off the final week of 2023 with expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin cutting interest rates as soon as March.

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In Sydney, commodity stocks led the gains in broad-based buying. Miners rose more than 1.3 per cent on the back of gains in iron ore prices. BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue were up between 0.1 per cent and 1.5 per cent.

Energy stocks climbed 0.7 per cent after oil prices rallied overnight as further attacks on ships in the Red Sea prompted fears of shipping disruptions. Woodside Energy and Santos both climbed 0.8 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively.

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Rate-sensitive financials rose 0.2 per cent, with the "Big Four" banks gaining between 0.3 per cent and 0.7per cent.

Technology stocks tracked their Nasdaq peers higher, gaining 0.7 per cent. Block's Australian shares and accounting software firm Xero advanced 1.7 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively.

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In corporate news, CAR Group said its unit Encarsales.com had withdrawn its application for an initial public offering eligibility review with the Korea Stock Exchange. Shares of the online auto classifieds firm rose 0.4 per cent.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 0.2 per cent to 11,610.65.

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Published December 27th, 2023 at 08:53 IST

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