Australian Market Sharply Higher

The Australian stock market sharply higher on Tuesday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying just below the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by financial stocks, as traders reacted positively to the latest efforts made to address the turmoil in the global banking sector.

The minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's Monetary Policy Board's March 7 meeting revealed that the board acknowledged that inflation is expected to remain above the bank's target range for at least the next two years

The members said the Australia economy could certainly handle the gradual removal of stimulus as unemployment now sits at a 50-year low - even though activity has slowed somewhat in recent months.

At the meeting, the RBA hiked its key interest rate by a quarter-point to 3.60 percent, as widely expected. The interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances was also raised by 25 basis points to 3.50 percent. The RBA has tightened its monetary policy by altogether 350 basis points since May 2022.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 83.40 points or 1.21 percent to 6,981.90, after touching a high of 6,990.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 82.10 points or 1.16 percent to 7,167.20. Australian stocks closed sharply lower on Monday.

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

Oil stocks are higher. Beach energy is edging up 0.4 percent, Santos is gaining more than 1 percent and Woodside Energy is adding more than 2 percent. Origin Energy is edging down 0.5 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay owner Block is gaining more than 2 percent, Zip is edging up 0.4 percent, while Appen and WiseTech Global are edging up 0.2 percent each. Xero is losing almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are mostly weak. Northern Star Resources is losing almost 4 percent, Gold Road Resources is down more than 3 percent, Newcrest Mining is slipping almost 1 percent, Evolution Mining is declining more than 1 percent and Resolute Mining is sliding more than 6 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is gaining more than 1 percent, while National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ Banking are adding almost 2 percent each.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.670 on Tuesday.

On the Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Monday but largely maintained a positive bias following the sharp pullback seen last Friday.

The major averages all finished the day in positive territory. The Dow jumped 382.60 points or 1.2 percent to 32,244.58, the Nasdaq rose 45.02 points or 0.4 percent to 11,675.54 and the S&P 500 advanced 34.93 points or 0.9 percent to 3,951.57.

The major European markets also moved to the upside over the course of the session. While the French CAC 40 Index surged by 1.3 percent, the German DAX Index jumped by 1.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.9 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Monday to settle on a firm note, shrugging off concerns the banking chaos might lead to financial crisis or a recession. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended higher by $0.90 or 1.4 percent at $67.64 a barrel.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Market Analysis

Follow RTT