SYDNEY, AAP – Shares have extended their record highs for the third time this week on the Australian market.
The ASX200 rose to 7281.8 points about 1141 AEST on Thursday after a broad-based rally, powered by banks and energy providers.
Financial shares, which comprise a large part of the market, were higher by 1.17 per cent.
Energy shares surged by 2.85 per cent a day after OPEC decided not to increase supply by more than planned.
There were gains of more than one per cent for shares in utilities, property and consumer staples.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was higher by 51.7 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 7269.5 at 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries was up by 48.8 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 7517.7.
The indices’ performance bettered those of US markets, which gained about 0.1 per cent.
Investors are waiting for a weekly US unemployment report and May private payrolls data, followed a day later by monthly US jobs numbers.
Investors will scour the detail for signs of economic improvement and rising inflation.
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank president Patrick Harker said that as the US labor market rebounded from the pandemic, it may be time for policymakers to start thinking about the best way to slow the central bank’s asset purchases.
In AusStralia, new figures showed the economy made a solid start to the June quarter with exports growing in April.
Australian exports recovered by three per cent in April, pushing the trade surplus out to $8 billion and more than $2 billion larger than March.
Imports declined three per cent.
On the ASX, energy providers were booming after oil prices moved higher.
Beach Energy rose 3.66 per cent to $1.34, Oil Search gained 3.1 per cent to $3.99 and Woodside climbed 2.98 per cent to $23.82.
The big four banks were all higher by more than one per cent.
ANZ was the best performer, climbing 1.58 per cent to $28.80.
Buy now, pay later provider Sezzle inked a deal for Target US to use its payments platform at its stores as well as online.
The deal is for three years and does not include Target Australia.
Shares were higher by 22.53 per cent to $9.19.
There was little movement among the big miners.
BHP gained 0.20 per cent to $49.49, Fortescue climbed 0.21 per cent to $23.33 and Rio Tinto shed 0.47 per cent to $126.35.
Pathology services provider Australian Clinical Labs was a big improver, gaining 6.76 per cent to $3.79.
The company said sales were better than expected and raised its forecast for net profit after tax by between 10 per cent and 15 per cent.
The Australian dollar was buying 77.43 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher from 77.36 US cents at Wednesday’s close.