SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market has bounced back from three consecutive days of losses, while with a broad-based rally helping the ASX higher by 0.8 per cent by noon on Wednesday.
The gains came despite Wall Street closing lower after the US banned Russian oil imports and RBA boss Philip Lowe warning that annual inflation could reach four per cent this year.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 56.1 points, or 0.80 per cent, to 7036.4 points at 1200 AEDT.
The index is still down about 600 points from its record high from August last year.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 59.6 points, or 0.82 per cent, to 7312.5 points.
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Overnight, Britain and the European Union also said they will reduce their reliance on Russian oil and gas this year in retaliation to Russia invading Ukraine. Brent crude oil traded for $US127.98 per barrel.
Meanwhile Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said rising oil and food prices caused by the invasion would send local inflation higher.
However, he did not know whether the four per cent rate would be sustained.
Technology shares were the best performers, higher by two per cent.
Consumer discretionaries and the heavyweight category of financials were next best, up one per cent each.
The big four banks, along with Bendigo Bank and Bank of Queensland, each rose one per cent.
The commodity shares of energy and materials, which have boomed since the invasion, gained less than one per cent.
In mining, Fortescue was best of the big three miners and rose less than half a per cent to $18.73.
Origin Energy was up one per cent to $5.86 after announcing a $250 million on-market share buyback from April.
CEO Frank Calabria said the company had met its target capital structure and wanted to help shareholder returns.
Insurer IAG has received about 24,000 claims from the floods and storms that have battered parts of NSW and Queensland since late February.
The company has revised its total claims estimate for the event to $74 million, down from $95 million, due to work on earlier claims.
However the full-year natural perils claims estimate has been upgraded to $1.1 billion from $1.04 billion.
IAG was higher by less than half a per cent to $4.27.
Gaming machine and software provider Aristocrat said it did not expect the war in Ukraine would affect its earnings.
The company’s European-based offshoot Pixel United has about 1,000 workers in Ukraine and two thirds of these have moved to safer places.
Aristocrat has suspended operating mobile games in Russia, which makeup three per cent of Pixel United bookings.
Aristocrat was up three per cent to $35.12.
Nickel Mines paused the trading of its shares pending an announcement.
Shares last traded lower by 22 per cent for $1.14.
The London Metal Exchange halted nickel trading overnight after prices doubled in just hours to a record $US100,000 per tonne.
The Australian dollar was buying 72.78 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower than the 72.87 US cents at Tuesday’s close.