SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market traded higher at noon as firming commodity prices helped boost heavyweight mining and energy stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 13.2 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 7467.2 by 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries index was higher by 21.6 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 7757.1.
Local investors had braced for a tame start after data showed the biggest increase in US inflation in 16-1/2 years, cementing the case for a 50-basis-points interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve next month.
It limited gains in the ASX-listed financial and property stocks sector but commodity stocks helped pull the market higher after energy prices rebounded more than 6 per cent on the back of lockdowns easing in China and a decline in Russian oil and gas production that raised supply concerns.
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The energy sector was the best performer with Woodside Petroleum and Santos up around 1.5 per cent each, while Ampol and Beach Energy were 1.6 per cent and 2.2 per cent higher respectively.
Oil explorer Viva Energy climbed 2 per cent after approving funding to upgrade processing capability at its Geelong Refinery.
The top iron ore miners again led the sector higher, with BHP and Fortecue Metals up around 0.5 per cent each, while Rio Tinto shares rose 2.2 per cent.
Lithium and gold producers, including AVZ Minerals, Pilbara Minerals, Regis Resources and Northern Star joined the momentum, gaining between 1 per cent and 5 per cent.
Three of the Big Four banks were trading in the green, with Commonwealth Bank the only one under pressure, but other key financial stocks including Macquarie Group, Perpetual and health insurer NIB were trading lower.
Shares of EML Payments soared nearly 12 per cent to $2.98 after the payment solutions provider disclosed it had discussed a potential takeover by US private equity firm Bain Capital earlier this year, although discussions have now ended.
Shares of travel firms Webjet and Flight Centre were both up 2.5 per cent each as New Zealand opened its borders to Australian travellers for the first time since mid-2021.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 74.69 US cents at 1200 AEST, up from its 74.28 US cents value at Tuesday’s close.