SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market was thriving by more than one per cent as investors snapped up stocks after two days of losses.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was up 89 points, or 1.32 per cent, to 6827.4 at 1200 AEDT on Wednesday.
Since the pandemic, investors have been reluctant to raise the index to much more than 6800 points.
Many will be interested to see whether the index continues rising, as surpassing 6800 points has become a test for investor confidence.
The All Ordinaries meanwhile was higher by 85.1 points, or 1.22 per cent, to 7054.9.
All sectors were higher. Industrials was best at 1.88 per cent.
Among the heavyweight sectors, materials was higher by 1.55 per cent while financials was better by 1.42 per cent.
There were gains of more than one per cent for property, energy and the consumer sectors.
The strong showing follows better news from Queensland, where the number of coronavirus cases from a Brisbane outbreak grew by just two to 17.
Brisbane’s three-day lockdown could still end before the Easter holidays.
The ASX’s performance defied the lead from the US, where investors sold tech-related growth shares after bond yields hit a 14-month high.
Tech stocks, which have a low-rate environment heavily baked into their pricey valuations, were among the hardest hit by the rise in yields.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 104.41 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 33,066.96, the S&P 500 lost 12.54 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 3,958.55 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.25 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 13,045.39.
On the Australian market, insurer Suncorp is calling for action by state governments after receiving thousands of flood damage claims, particularly from NSW.
Around 75 per cent of the 7600 claims presented by the end of March were from NSW, with Queensland making up 20 per cent and the rest from Victoria and the ACT.
Suncorp boss Steve Johnson said flood mitigation measures were needed, and homes should not be built in flood-prone areas.
Shares were up 1.12 per cent to $9.86.
SG Fleet will buy the Australian and New Zealand operations of rival fleet manager LeasePlan for $273 million.
The deal will create a $2.5 billion business managing 250,00 vehicles.
SG Fleet will raise $86 million from shareholders to help fund the purchase.
Shares were suspended from trade on Friday and last traded for $2.58.
Buy now, pay later provider Zip said it will provide its payments service to JB Hi-Fi customers.
Customers at JB, as well as The Good Guys, will be able to defer payments when buying online or at stores.
The service is expected to be offered from April.
Zip shares were higher by 0.27 per cent to $7.37.
JB Hi-Fi shares were better by 0.75 per cent to $52.14.
In mining, BHP, Fortescue and Rio Tinto were all higher. BHP was best of these, up 2.17 per cent to $45.88.
In banking, the big four were all higher by more than one per cent.
The Australian dollar was buying 76.12 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 76.52 US cents at Tuesday’s close.