The Australian share market has rallied hard in its final minutes for its best day ever after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the government’s fiscal stimulus measures.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index gained 163.1 points in the final 24 minutes of trade to finish Monday up 399 points, or 7.0 per cent, to 5,181.4 points.
The gains handily outdistanced the ASX200’s previous best day, which was just nine sessions ago, when the ASX200 rose 5.83 per cent, or 291.4 points, on March 17.
The All Ordinaries index rose 319.8 points, or 6.56 per cent, to 5,194.
The gains came after Mr Morrison disclosed details of a $130 billion stimulus package including $1500 a fortnight “job keeper” payments to subsidise wages and keep Australians employed.
“We want to keep the economy running through this crisis,” Mr Morrison declared.
“I’m surprised at the market reaction today,” said Betashares chief economist David Bassanese, who noted the gains came even after the state lockdowns tightened and US President Donald Trump abandoned his plan to re-open the country by Easter.
“I still suspect that we haven’t seen the lows,” Mr Bassanese added.
“I think what we saw last week was a bear market rally.”
All sectors were higher with health care gaining the most, 11.4 per cent, as CSL jumped 12.0 per cent to $312.68 and Mayne Pharma soared 26.9 per cent to 33 cents in the best move of any ASX200 component.
Ansell was the second-best ASX200 performer, adding 25.1 per cent after announcing it had experienced a surge demand for its protective hand and body equipment.
All the big banks were higher, with ANZ gaining 8.5 per cent to $16.78, NAB up 7.9 per cent to $16.31, Westpac up 8.5 per cent to $16.16 and Commonwealth Bank rising 10.9 per cent to $63.95.
IAG rose 10.9 per cent to $6.40 after leaving its FY20 guidance unchanged as its overall year-to-date profitability is expected to absorb higher net natural peril claim costs and severe investment market movements.
Wesfarmers rose 11.3 per cent to $35.89 and Woolworths rose 9.6 per cent to $38.14.
In the heavyweight mining sector, BHP gained 4.0 per cent to $30.20, Rio Tinto added 2.1 per cent to $87.54 and Fortescue Metals rose 5.2 per cent to $10.10.
Goldminers were also buoyant as the price of the precious metal rose to around $US1,616 an ounce, with Saracen Minerals up 8.6 per cent and Evolution up 8.6 per cent, although Newcrest fell 0.8 per cent.
Even with the gains, the ASX200 is still down 22.5 per cent since the start of the year, and 28.0 per cent since its all-time intraday high of 7,197.2 set on February 20.
But it’s also up 17.7 per cent since hitting an eight year intraday low of 4,402.5 last Monday.
The Australian dollar meanwhile was buying 61.48 US cents, up from 61.08 US cents as the market closed on Friday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished on Monday down 339 points, or 7.0 per cent, at 5,181.4 points
* The All Ordinaries closed up 319.8 points, or 6.56 per cent, at 5,194 points
* At 1729 AEDT the SPI200 futures index was up 32 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 5,162 points
One Australian dollar buys:
* 61.47 US cents, from 61.08 US cents on Friday
* 66.23 Japanese yen, from 66.23 yen
* 55.45 euro cents, from 55.19 cents
* 49.58 British pence, from 49.72 pence
* 102.01 NZ cents, from 102.21 cents.