Australian Market Significantly Higher

The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Friday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving just below the 7,200 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with strength in materials and energy stocks amid higher commodity prices. Technology stocks also gained.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 71.10 points or 1.00 percent to 7,177.00, after touching a high of 7,196.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 70.80 points or 0.97 percent to 7,410.10. Australian markets ended significantly lower on Thursday.

Among major miners, Rio Tinto, Mineral Resources and BHP Group are gaining almost 2 percent each, while OZ Minerals is adding more than 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is edging up 0.3 percent.

Oil stocks are higher. Origin Energy and Woodside Energy are adding more than 1 percent each, while Beach energy is gaining more than 3 percent and Santos is edging up 0.5 percent.

Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is adding more than 2 percent, Zip is gaining more than 4 percent, Xero is up more than 1 percent and Afterpay owner Block is advancing more than 5 percent. Appen is plunging almost 24 percent after Telus abruptly withdrew its $1.2 billion acquisition offer.

Among the big four banks, Westpac and National Australia Bank are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Commonwealth Bank is adding more than 1 percent and ANZ Banking is edging up 0.5 percent.

Gold miners are mostly lower. Northern Star Resources, Resolute Mining and Gold Road Resources are losing more than 1 percent each, while Evolution Mining is down almost 2 percent. Newcrest Mining is edging up 0.5 percent.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.710 on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Thursday, extending the strong upward move seen over the course of the previous session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a particularly strong gain, continuing to recover after ending Tuesday's trading at its lowest closing level since November 2020.

The major averages pulled back off their highs going into the close but continued to post strong gains. The Dow jumped 516.91 points or 1.6 percent to 32,637.19, the Nasdaq soared 305.91 points or 2.7 percent to 11,740.65 and the S&P 500 surged 79.11 points or 2 percent to 4,057.84.

The major European markets also all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.6 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Thursday amid increasing signs of tight supply in the market ahead of the peak U.S. driving season that kicks off next week. A weak dollar and the possibility of EU sanctions on Russian oil also contributed to the jump in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended higher by $3.76 or 3.4 percent at $114.09 a barrel.

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