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Updated January 23rd, 2024 at 08:21 IST

Australian shares hit two-week high fuelled by banking sector

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.6 per cent to 7,520.60 by 0041 GMT, marking its highest level since January 9.

Business Desk
ASX
Australian shares | Image:ASX
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Australian shares rise: Australian shares on Tuesday surged to a two-week high, driven by robust performances in the heavyweight financial sector following the S&P 500's consecutive record highs overnight. 

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.6 per cent to 7,520.60 by 0041 GMT, marking its highest level since January 9. 

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The benchmark had closed 0.8 per cent higher on the preceding day.

Global equities experienced a boost after the S&P 500 achieved a second consecutive record high, with additional gains from the tech sector. 

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Investors worldwide are eagerly anticipating this week's release of the personal consumption expenditure index data and the advance fourth-quarter gross domestic product print from the United States, seeking insights into the potential direction of the Federal Reserve's next policy decision.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan is anticipated to maintain its ultra-easy monetary settings at the conclusion of its policy meeting later in the day.

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In Sydney, financials surged by as much as 1 per cent, reaching their highest level since April 2022. National Australia Bank saw a 1.1 per cent increase, reaching its highest level since February 9, while the other "Big Four" banks posted gains ranging from 0.7 per cent to 1 per cent.

Mining stocks experienced a 0.5 per cent climb, with major sector players BHP and Fortescue gaining 0.6 per cent and 0.5 per cent, respectively. 

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Energy stocks rose by 0.2 per cent, propelled by surging oil prices driven by concerns over global energy supplies.

Local investors are eagerly awaiting production updates this week from oil and gas majors Woodside Energy and Santos, along with mining giant Fortescue.

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Technology stocks inched up by 0.8 per cent, and healthcare stocks registered a 1.5 per cent climb, while gold stocks retreated by 0.2 per cent.

Individual stocks such as Karoon Energy and Liontown Resources faced declines, with Karoon Energy falling by as much as 8.1 per cent after revising its annual production forecast.

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Liontown Resources extended losses, falling by 5.9 per cent, following a more than 21 per cent drop on Monday, when the company indicated a potential delay in the expansion of its flagship lithium project.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose by 0.5 per cent to 11,739.59.

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(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published January 23rd, 2024 at 08:21 IST

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