SYDNEY, AAP – Investors were brimming with optimism on the Australian share market which is poised to snap a four week losing run.
The market was up 0.75 per cent and all share categories were higher on Friday after similar results on Wall Street.
US markets closed higher after a truce in the US debt-ceiling stand-off. The debate had posed a government debt default this month.
On the ASX, materials shares were surging as metals prices climbed.
Iron ore miners thrived. Rio Tinto and BHP were up more than three per cent at 1200 AEST. Fortescue was better by more than two per cent.
Shares in information technology, telecommunications and energy were next best.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 54.6 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 7311.3.
The All Ordinaries was up 58.6 points, or 0.77 per cent, to 7609.8.
Australia can expect a rebound in the economy as the lockdown states of NSW, ACT and Victoria gradually reopen from coronavirus lockdown.
However the Reserve Bank’s review of the banking system says longer-term outlook is uncertain given the risk of more serious outbreaks of COVID-19 here and abroad.
Woolworths has settled a legal dispute with workers seeking about $300 million in underpayments.
About 6,000 current and former Woolworths workers began a class action in 2019 after store managers complained they were earning less than their staff.
Unrelated to the class action, the retail giant will pay about $50 million to 20,000 current and former workers to rectify underpayments discovered in the same year.
Shares were up almost one per cent to $40.09.
EML Payments shares slumped after Ireland’s central bank detailed earlier anti-money laundering concerns about EML’s Irish subsidiary.
The bank has foreshadowed orders that could materially affect EML’s Prepaid Financial Services business across Europe.
The bank has also proposed changes that could negatively impact the Irish subsidiary.
Shares were down more than 13 per cent to $3.19.
In banking, the shares of the big four were mixed. The Commonwealth and NAB were less than one per cent higher. ANZ was little changed. Westpac was lower.
Energy Resources of Australia revealed larger than expected costs in restoring the former Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory.
The company said it cannot yet estimate the cost and this assessment was a priority.
Shares dipped more than five per cent to 35 cents.
Supermarket group Metcash will gain a new chief executive.
Incumbent Jeff Adams will retire next year after joining in 2017.
The boss of South Africa-based Massmart Wholesale, Doug Jones, will join Metcash in February.
Shares were down 0.74 per cent to $4.00.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.20 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 72.80 US cents at Thursday’s close.