SYDNEY, AAP – The Australian share market has moved higher midway through the session, underpinned by strong metal and mineral prices, after trading resumed following the Easter break.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 53.6 points to 7577 at noon on Tuesday, up 0.71 per cent from Thursday’s close, as oil prices and gold futures rallied.
Energy stocks, including Woodside (up 2.1 per cent) and Santos (1.1 per cent higher), caught the updraft, as did gold companies including Newcrest Mining, up 1.2 per cent. The major miners were also trading strongly despite broadly flat iron ore prices.
The materials index rose by 1.35 per cent at midday.
The early gains contrasted with modest falls in US share market indices on Monday. The US earnings season continues this week with major companies including Netflix, IBM and Lockheed Martin scheduled to report.
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The start of the trading week has been marked by rising oil prices, driven by sanctions on Russia, and high bond yields in the US and Australia.
Government-issued bonds have been trading at elevated levels amid growing inflationary pressures that are expected to prompt the Reserve Bank of Australia to start lifting the cash rate, currently at a record-low 0.1 per cent.
The RBA will observe rising inflation levels and wages growth closely over the coming months, according to the April 5 board meeting minutes, released on Tuesday.
Higher cash rates – and bond yields – tend to weigh on share prices over time, as the cost of capital increases and investors switch out of more volatile stocks into the relative safety of government securities.
AMP shares were slightly higher at $106.25 at noon on Tuesday after it confirmed it was in talks to sell assets and businesses of Collimate Capital, its wealth and asset management group formerly known as AMP Capital.
Shares in industrial group DGL shot up more than 11 per cent after upgrading its full year guidance
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 73.57 US cents at 1200 AEST, slightly down from the 73.70 level it traded at 24 hours earlier.