SYDNEY, AAP – Investors have pushed the ASX higher more than one per cent to start a week in which US rates are tipped to rise.
The Australian market saw a broad-based rally early despite oil prices remaining elevated due to sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Brent crude oil was trading at $US110.69 per barrel.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 78 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 7141.6 points at 1200 AEDT on Monday .
The index is still down about 500 points from its record high in August last year.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 77.6 points, or 1.05 per cent, to 7416.9 points.
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The US Federal Reserve is tipped to raise rates by a quarter of a per cent this week after an inflation report last week showed another 40-year high.
Officials at Australia’s Reserve Bank have also said a rate hike this year is plausible.
In the local market, financial shares were the best performing and higher by two per cent.
Among the banks, ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac each improved by two per cent. NAB gained one per cent.
There were gains of one per cent for the consumer categories, healthcare and telecommunications.
In company news, agribusiness Elders has flagged it would beat full-year earnings forecasts by at least 20 per cent.
The company’s retail and wholesale operations had higher sales and favourable seasonal conditions, while the agency and real estate arms were also doing well.
Elders was up 11 per cent to $13.33.
Ampol will sell its New Zealand Gull fuel business for $475 million to investment manager Allegro.
Ampol agreed to sell the business to avoid competition conflicts that may arise from its planned takeover of Kiwi business Z Energy. The funds from the Gull sale would be used to buy Z Energy.
Ampol was up two per cent to $28.83.
SRG Global has bought the Western Australian assets of the troubled Probuild group for $15.2 million.
Probuild has been in voluntary administration and its struggle has had ramifications across the building industry.
SRG Global was up five per cent to 56 cents.
Miner IGO’s proposed takeover of Western Areas is being delayed while the latter considers significant movements in nickel prices.
While Western Areas recommended investors accept the $1 billion offer, the board is considering the implications of huge price increases for nickel on the London Metals Exchange. Investors are due to vote on the bid in May.
IGO was down two per cent to $12.40, while Western Areas was up one per cent to $3.52.
The Australian dollar was buying 72.79 US cents at 1200 AEDT, sharply lower than 73.32 US cents at Friday’s close.