SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market was following world markets higher after the United Arab Emirates pledged to provide more oil to overcome boycotts of Russian supply.
The ASX was up 0.77 per cent on Thursday as traders responded positively to the UAE pledge and oil prices dropped substantially, albeit from lofty heights.
The UAE’s ambassador to the US proposed bigger increases of oil supply, given boycotts of Russian oil over its invasion of Ukraine.
The Brent crude oil price was $US111.14 per barrel after swapping for $US130.65 per barrel a day earlier.
Whether increased supply goes ahead is uncertain. UAE energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Twitter the country is committed to an OPEC+ pact to ramp up supply gradually.
The lower oil prices caused ASX energy shares to fall two per cent.
The other commodity category of materials fell by the same measure.
Mining giant Rio Tinto fell seven per cent to $110.93 as it traded ex-dividend.
However most share categories were higher. Technology and consumer discretionaries were best and each rose three per cent.
The heavyweight category of financials was up two per cent.
Bendigo Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Macquarie Group each improved by three per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 54.7 points, or 0.77 per cent, to 7107.7 points at 1200 AEDT.
The index is down about 500 points from its record high in August last year.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 58.6 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 7390.4 points.
Some overseas markets had bigger gains.
The German DAX rose almost eight per cent, the US Nasdaq climbed three per cent, and the Dow Jones and S&P 500 gained two per cent.
On the ASX, Myer shareholders will receive their first dividend in four years after first-half sales improved.
The department store chain declared first-half sales rose by eight per cent to $1.5 billion for the 26 weeks to January 29.
Net profit was down 55 per cent to $32.3 million although the retailer said the statutory number was not the best measure of profitability.
Myer was up 19 per cent to 49 cents.
Buy now, pay later provider Sezzle will slash about 20 per cent of its workforce in North America to save $US10 million.
The company, which is being purchased by Zip, said the workforce reduction was needed to be profitable.
Sezzle was up seven per cent to $1.57.
Data analytics software vendor Nuix has another class action to deal with.
A law firm representing shareholders claims there were errors in Nuix’s prospectus and revenue forecasts.
Two other class actions about similar matters have already been filed, while corporate regulator ASIC continues investigating.
Nuix was higher by almost one per cent to $1.28.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.06 US cents at 1200 AEDT, more than the 72.83 US cents at Wednesday’s close.