SYDNEY, AAP – Shares on the ASX have followed Wall Street higher after the US government agreed on infrastructure spending which will help more stock gains.
Materials shares were the best performers on the ASX, higher by 1.2 per cent, after US President Joe Biden embraced a bipartisan Senate deal.
The US government will spend $US1.2 trillion ($A1.6 trillion) over eight years on roads, airports, broadband and more.
Aussie miners could be among those to benefit.
BlueScope Steel gained 4.26 per cent to $22.61.
BHP climbed 0.86 per cent to $48.01. Fortescue was higher by 1.14 per cent to $23.00. Rio Tinto was better by 1.06 per cent to $12.56.
Financials were higher by 0.4 per cent.
Market giant CSL continued its poor week and lost 1.43 per cent to $282.49. The biotech has lost more than seven per cent this week.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 21 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 7296.3 at 1200 AEST on Friday.
The All Ordinaries was up by 26.3 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 7565.4.
In Australia, people in central Sydney and the eastern suburbs have a one-week coronavirus lockdown.
There were 22 more infections found from the Bondi cluster.
A number of restrictions on people from Sydney or NSW travelling interstate remain.
Flight Centre is trying to retain staff amid the pandemic by offering shares if workers stay until the end of next year.
The travel agency says a worker will receive the right to 250 shares if they remain to December 31, 2022.
Company leaders expect about 7,500 workers will take up the offer and receive about 1.9 million shares ($30 million).
Shares were up 0.59 per cent to $15.13.
The former Woolworths business Endeavour Group was among the better performers on its first full day of share trading.
The demerged entity, which owns the BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores, was up 6.72 per cent to $6.42.
Woolworths was down 2.84 per cent to $36.67. The retail giant lost 11.2 per cent on Thursday.
In banking, Westpac says it will pay shareholders an interim dividend of 58 cents per share.
The bank was trading higher by 0.40 per cent to $25.93.
Best of the big four was ANZ, which rose 0.82 per cent to $28.27.
Southern Cross Media gained 6.03 per cent to $2.11 after a deal to show Network 10 programs.
The broadcaster will show four channels from Network 10 in regional Queensland and regional Victoria, as well southern NSW, for two years.
The Australian dollar was buying 75.89 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 75.79 US cents at Thursday’s close.