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Australia shares rise for fourth week as U.S. inflation worries cool

06/11/2021 | 02:44am

* Gold stocks top gainers on ASX 200

* Afterpay closes at over one-month high

* ASX200 marks fourth straight week of gains

June 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended at a record high on Friday, supported by tech stocks and gold miners, and notched up a fourth straight weekly gain as investors bet spiking U.S. inflation would be temporary as predicted by the Federal Reserve.

The S&P/ASX 200 reversed losses in early trading to gain 0.1% and close at a record high of 7,312.3, taking cues from global peers. The benchmark added 0.2% for the week.

Gold stocks were the best performers, jumping 3.4% and marking their best session since May 7, as bullion prices edged above $1,900 per ounce.

Economic data from the United States appeared to support the Fed's assertion that the current wave of heightened inflation will be temporary, which benefited benchmark 10-year U.S Treasuries and hurt the dollar.

"I was surprised to see such a big move in the bond market, with yields falling sharply and dragging the dollar down. That was good for gold prices," said Damian Rooney, director of equity sales at Argonaut.

On Australia's gold sub-index, Newcrest Mining gained 3.1% to mark its best session in over a month, while Bellevue Gold added 7.8%.

Technology stocks ended at a five-week high, tracking overnight gains on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Afterpay jumped 3.7% to end at more than a month's high, as buy-now-pay-later firms outpaced the benchmark's gains.

However, heavyweight financials lost 0.8%, with all "Big Four" banks closing in the red.

National Australia Bank posted a 3.8% weekly loss, recording its worst week since late October last year, as the lender is under investigation for suspected breaches of anti-money laundering laws.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 ended 0.3% higher at 12,550.39, with a2 Milk among the top gainer on the bourse.

Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment rose 1.4% as it expects full-year profit to jump as much as 33%. (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

© Reuters 2021
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