Australian shares have posted a solid rise in early trading, with energy and property stocks leading the gains.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was higher by 51 points, or 0.95 per cent, to 5415.2 points after the first 30 minutes of trade on Friday.
The All Ordinaries index was 58.1 points higher, or 1.07 per cent, at 5508.
The energy sector was doing well – up 2.19 per cent – as was property, higher by 2.74 per cent.
Santos was up by 16 cents, or 3.36 per cent, to $4.92, while Beach Energy was higher by 3.5 cents, or 2.33 per cent, to $1.54.
Property giant Goodman Group gained 45.5 cents, or 3.22 per cent, to $14.56.
The financial sector was also trading higher, higher by 1.21 per cent.
Macquarie Bank halved its dividend after reporting an 8 per cent drop in annual profit. The bank slashed its final dividend to $1.80 per share, compared with last year’s payout of $3.60 per share.
Shares in Macquarie were trading higher by $1.65, or 1.66 per cent, to $101.20.
For the big four: ANZ increased 24 cents, or 1.51 per cent, to $16.09, the Commonwealth Bank gained 66 cents, or 1.11 per cent, to $59.92, while NAB was up 18 cents, or 1.11 per cent, to $16.40, and Westpac rose by 19 cents, or 1.22 per cent, to $15.79.
The big miners were having a good time, too.
BHP was up 1.23 per cent to $31.38, Rio gained 2.1 per cent to $83.22 and Fortescue grew by 2.27 per cent to $11.71.
Shares in Telstra lost 0.49 per cent after the company said it will take a $300 million impairment charge on its 35 per cent stake in Foxtel, after the majority owner of the pay TV network, News Corp, wrote down its value.
AMP shares are higher by 2.56 per cent after it shelved a decision to divest its New Zealand wealth management operations, following the volatility of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank is due to give its Statement on Monetary Policy later on Friday, after leaving the cash rate at 0.25 per cent on Tuesday.
Governor Philip Lowe will provide an updated forecast of how the board expects the economy to change during the coronavirus crisis.
Stocks globally were bolstered on Thursday after Beijing reported a better than expected rise in exports in April, confounding expectations of a sharp fall. The US markets were also helped by upbeat earnings reports.
That mitigated the impact of US claims for unemployment benefits totalling a 3.169 million for the week ended May 2.
One Australian dollar buys 65.02 US cents at 1030 AEST, up from 64.54 US cents at Thursday’s close.