SYDNEY, AAP – Australian shares have traded higher as gains on Wall Street buoyed sentiment, resulting in broad increases across the mining and energy sectors.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 32.1 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 7419.2 at 1200 AEDT on Friday, hitting its highest level in more than two months.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 32 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 7701.
Overnight, major US stock indices rallied more than one per cent as investors snapped up beaten-down tech and growth shares, and as oil prices dropped.
Western leaders have agreed to increase military aid to Ukraine and tighten sanctions on Russia, whose invasion of its neighbour has entered a second month.
Top Australian Brokers
In the local market, that improved sentiment translated into gains for heavyweight mining and energy stocks, while utilities and property trusts also rose.
Gains in materials were led by BlueScope Steel, which jumped five per cent to $21.46 while nickel producer IGO also climbed more than three per cent.
Each of the big three miners – BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue were up more than one per cent as iron ore prices continued to hover around a high of $US150 a tonne.
The easing in oil prices dented appetite somewhat but energy stocks were still trading higher. Woodside and Santos were up 1.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.
Financial stocks edged lower, with each of the big four banks trading in the red, although AMP and Macquarie Group shares were up more than one per cent each.
Among stock specific news, shares in Premier Investments were down nearly one per cent after the owner of Smiggles, Peter Alexander and Portmans brands reported a 13 per cent drop in first-half net profit of $163.6 million, largely due to the impact of lockdowns.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 75.05 US cents at 1200 AEDT, up from 74.81 US cents at Thursday’s close.