ASX climbs higher after Christmas break
The Australian share market has closed higher in the first session after the Christmas break, helped along by a commodity price surge and fresh overnight records on Wall Street.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 27.5 points, or 0.4 per cent, higher at 6,821.7 points on Friday - the best session in seven - while the broader All Ordinaries was up 29.9 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 6,936.3 points.
The Aussie dollar was buying 69.54 US cents from 69.16 US cents on Tuesday, and earlier touched a five-month high of 69.56 US cents.
Wall Street provided a strong lead after the three main US indices posted record closing highs, while oil, gold, and copper prices also gained ground.
"Mining definitely led the charge today," Bell Direct markets analyst Jessica Amir said.
"It was actually a pretty good comeback session to close off a disrupted week."
The mining sector indeed led gains on Friday, adding 1.11 per cent as a whole.
BHP was up 1.05 per cent to $39.64, Rio Tinto was up 0.5 per cent to $102.51 and Fortescue Metals was up 0.82 per cent to $11.00.
South32 jumped 1.86 per cent to $2.74 and BlueScope Steel was flat at $15.40.
Goldminers were boosted by a jump in the value of the precious metal, with Newcrest rising 1.37 per cent to $29.63, Northern Star up 3.24 per cent to $11.14 and Evolution gaining 3.89 per cent to $3.74.
Saracen Mineral, Regis Resources, and St Barbara were each up by between 2.63 and 3.42 per cent.
The volatile tech sector was the next strongest, with Afterpay climbing 4.73 per cent to $30.58, Appen up 1.33 per cent to $23.68 and Bravura Solutions 2.5 per cent higher at $5.34.
The big four banks were all higher.
ANZ was up 0.2 per cent to $24.78, Commonwealth Bank up 0.45 per cent to $81.07, NAB up 0.28 per cent to $24.93 and Westpac up 0.5 per cent to $24.33.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank rose 0.3 per cent, Bank of Queensland was up 1.09 per cent, and Macquarie Group was up 0.73 per cent.
Telco Telstra was up 0.27 per cent at $3.66, but biotech giant CSL fell 0.66 per cent to $280.42 to drag health care stocks lower.
Consumer staples closed higher as a whole, with supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles up 0.11 and 0.52 per cent respectively, a2 Milk up 0.83 per cent, and Costa Group rising 3.16 per cent to $2.61.
For consumer discretionaries, Jumbo Interactive rose 5.5 per cent to $15.55 and Wesfarmers was 0.05 per cent higher at $41.81, but retailers JB Hi-Fi fell 0.88 per cent and Premier Investments dropped 0.87 per cent.
Trading resumed on Friday for the first time since the ASX finished marginally higher on Tuesday, after a break for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 27.5 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 6,821.7 points
* The All Ordinaries rose 29.9 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 6,936.3 points.
* The SPI200 futures index rose 34 points, or 0.51 per cent to 6,744 points.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1430 AEDT
One Australian dollar buys:
* 69.54 US cents, from 69.16 US cents on Tuesday
* 76.14 Japanese yen, from 75.64 yen
* 62.52 euro cents, from 62.37 cents
* 53.50 British pence, from 53.43 pence
* 104.14 NZ cents, down from 104.36
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