See-saw ASX up 1.4pct as miners shine

The whipsaw action on the Australian share market has continued for a fifth straight day of back-and-forth action.

After rising Monday, falling Tuesday, rising Wednesday and falling again Thursday, the S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished Friday up 76.1 points, or 1.43 per cent, to 5,404.8 points, while the All Ordinaries index was 74.8 points higher, or 1.38 per cent, at 5,492.8.

"This week was basically back and forth, from a gain one day to a loss the next," said CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian.

"There's not a huge amount for markets to celebrate at the moment. It's just cautious optimism, but enough to see the markets really really encouraged."

While the lockdowns are easing, there are concerns over a spike in a COVID-19 cases overseas, high unemployment here in Australia and trade tensions with China, Mr Daghlian said.

For the week the ASX200 did edge higher, rising 13.7 points, or 0.25 per cent, for its third straight week of gains.

Miners were the biggest gainers on Friday, collectively climbing 3.3 per cent as iron ore prices rose.

BHP advanced 3.5 per cent to $31.67, Rio Tinto gained 2.5 per cent to $85.36 and Fortescue Metals climbed 4.2 per cent to $12.55 - closing in on its all-time high of $12.87 set on January 23.

Goldminers also rose as the price of the precious metal gained four per cent to $US1,734, close to its eight-year high.

Evolution Mining and Saracen Minerals both hit all-time highs, rising 5.0 per cent to $5.73 and 7.0 per cent to $5.05, respectively, while Newcrest and Northern Star both gained just over four per cent.

Australian Mines' price climbed by more than 12.5 per cent to 0.9 cents after it identified 14 new nickel and cobalt targets in north Queensland.

All the big banks were higher, with ANZ gaining 1.9 per cent to $15.44, NAB up 1.4 per cent to $15.46, Westpac climbing 2.1 per cent to $15.26 and CBA up 1.2 per cent to $59.60.

Private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care rose 3.2 per cent to $64.13 after entering into a binding agreement with the NSW Ministry of Health to make its facilities available during the coronavirus crisis.

Tech stocks were the only collective losers, retreating 1.0 per cent as a whole as Xero declined 5.6 per cent to $75.32 after announcing its annual results on Thursday.

Mr Daghlian noted that the Kiwi cloud accounting firm, which is down 5.9 per cent for the year, had rose 90 per cent last year and 46 per cent the year before.

"When you look at some of these tech stocks, you've got to remember where they're coming from," he said.

Elsewhere, Kogan.com rose 2.5 per cent to $8.76 - its best closing high in nearly two years - after acquiring family-run furniture business Matt Blatt for $4.4 million and announcing plans to turn it into an e-commerce company.

Competitor Temple & Webster declined one per cent to $3.98.

Building products company Boral declined 2.3 per cent to $2.51 after announcing its earnings margins from January to April were down three to five per cent because of the bushfires and COVID-19 measures.

The Australian dollar was buying 64.49 US cents, up from 64.37 US cents at the close of trade on Thursday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed Friday up 76.1 points, or 1.43 cent, at 5,404.8 points

* The All Ordinaries closed up 74.8 points, or 1.38 per cent, at 5,492.8 points

* At 1729 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was up two points, or 0.04 per cent, at 5,406 points

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 64.62 US cents, from 64.44 US cents on Thursday

* 69.21 Japanese yen, from 68.84 yen

* 59.78 euro cents, from 59.61 cents

* 52.94 British pence, from 52.76 pence

* 107.82 NZ cents, from 107.51 cent.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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