(RTTNews) – The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Thursday, extending gains in the previous two sessions, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 below the 6,900 level, following generally positive signals from global markets of overnight, as traders reacted to the US Fed’s long-awaited rate hike and comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell pointing to a slowdown in the pace of future rate hikes.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gains 41.70 points or 0.61 percent to 6,864.90, after previously reaching a high of 6,889.30. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 48.40 points or 0.69 percent to 7,086.50. Australian stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday.
Of the major miners, BHP Group gains more than 1 percent and Fortescue Metals adds nearly 2 percent, while OZ Minerals and Mineral Resources are each up more than 3 percent. Rio Tinto falls 0.3 percent.
Fortescue Metals has raised its forecast for annual iron ore supplies for the next fiscal year in hopes of better performance on its Eliwana project. It also reported record quarterly shipments.
Oil inventories tend to be higher. Santos and Woodside Energy gain more than 1 percent each, while Beach Energy gains nearly 1 percent. Origin Energy is down 0.2 percent.
In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block and WiseTech Global are each up more than 4 percent, while Xero adds 3.5 percent, Appen shoots up 0.5 percent and Zip shoots up more than 18 percent as it recovers since its planned merger with Sezzle.
Of the four major banks, National Australia Bank gains nearly 1 percent and ANZ Banking is up 0.4 percent, while Commonwealth Bank and Westpac each add nearly 1 percent.
Among prospectors, Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are each gaining more than 1 percent, while Resolute Mining is adding nearly 2 percent, Gold Road Resources is up more than 5 percent, and Newcrest Mining is up 0.3 percent.
In economic news, Australia will release June figures for retail sales and Q2 data for import and export prices. Retail sales are expected to rise 0.5 percent month on month, from 0.9 percent in May. Export prices rose by 18.0 percent in the first quarter compared to the first quarter, while import prices rose by 5.1 percent.
In the foreign exchange market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.699 on Thursday.
On Wall Street, stocks saw substantial movement back upwards during trading on Wednesday after selling out during Tuesday’s session. The major averages more than offset Tuesday’s losses, with the Dow and S&P 500 reaching their best closing levels in over a month.
Major averages pulled back from their intraday highs at close, but held strong gains. While the Nasdaq rose 469.85 points or 4.1 percent to 12,032.42, the S&P 500 rose 102.56 points or 2.6 percent to 4,023.61 and the Dow rose 436.05 points or 1.4 percent at 32,197.59.
Major European markets also all rose on the day. While the French CAC 40 index rose 0.8 percent, the British FTSE 100 index climbed 0.6 percent and the German DAX index rose 0.5 percent.
Crude oil prices rose on Wednesday after data last week showed a drop in US crude inventories, while the reduction in Russian gas flows to Europe also contributed to the oil’s soaring. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for September climbed $2.28 or 2.4 percent to $97.26 a barrel.
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