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Australian shares rise on financial, energy stock boost

10/03/2021 | 08:55pm

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares jumped on Monday after four consecutive weekly falls, as financials tracked Wall Street higher and energy stocks jumped on strong underlying commodity prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.1% to 7,262.7 by 0050 GMT.

Wall Street stocks surged to a higher close on Friday, entering the final quarter of 2021 in a buying mood boosted by positive economic data, progress in the battle against COVID-19, and Washington developments on the potential passage of an infrastructure bill

In Australia, financial stocks surged 2.4% and were headed for their best session in 3-1/2-months, led by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, up 3%, and Credit Corp Group Ltd, up 2.3%.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced a successful completion of its A$6 billion ($4.37 billion) off-market share buy-back of ordinary shares.

Energy stocks gained 2.1% to hit their highest in nearly seven months, after oil prices settled near three-year highs last week on expectations OPEC ministers will maintain a steady pace in raising supply.

Beach Energy Ltd and Whitehaven Coal Ltd were the top performers on the sub-index, up 3.5% and 2.7% respectively.

Gold stocks rose 1.5% to their highest since Sept. 24, led by Red 5 Ltd, up 7.1%, followed by Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd, gaining 6.3%.

Gold prices inched higher on Friday as a weaker dollar and worries about rising inflation and risks to growth countered bets for looming interest rate hikes.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 13,327.9.

Skycity Entertainment Group said it would close its Hamilton casino and entertainment facilities on Oct. 3 as New Zealand will move to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 for five days. ($1 = 1.3746 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

© Reuters 2022
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