Australian shares snapped a four-day losing streak to close higher for the first time this week, following near-sector wide gains buoyed by materials, energy and supermarkets.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 61.1 points or 0.8 per cent to 7443.00, while the All Ordinaries Index climbed 64.6 points or 0.8 per cent to 7765.8.
Miners did most of the heavy lifting on Friday, with materials closing as the only sector in the green for the week.
Burman Invest chief investment officer Julia Lee said this was attributed to two factors – the weaker Australian dollar and support in China for the struggling property empire Evergrande.
“Miners are generally making more money because they sell in US dollars and convert it back into Aussie,” Ms Lee told NCA NewsWire.
“And we heard Evergrande had avoided being defaulted this week and the Chinese government might look at new measures to support the property industry.
“Given most of our commodities are used for building and infrastructure, that has helped support (the market).”
BHP and Rio Tinto jumped 2.8 and 3.4 per cent respectively, while Fortescue Metals rose 1.9 per cent.
Consumer staples also helped push the market higher after Citi analysts upgraded its position for Coles based on a rise in prices for pantry items amid the work from home phenomenon, as well as the general inflation of goods.
The major supermarket soared 1.8 per cent higher, followed by a 0.7 per cent rise from both Woolworths and Wesfarmers.
Meanwhile, James Hardie’s stocks rocketed during trade after the cement producer’s half-year results revealed net sales nearly tripled.
It also recorded an increase to its four-year guidance as its share price closed the session up more than 5 per cent.
Commonwealth Bank was the strongest of the big four lenders, jumping 0.9 per cent higher, as NAB and ANZ both rose 0.7 per cent, Westpac eked out a slight gain of 0.04 per cent and Macquarie soared 1.4 per cent higher by close.
Health care was the only Aussie sector to finish lower, despite CSL closing slightly higher at 0.2 per cent, while ResMed lost 1.6 per cent.
Friday’s gains followed a dismal run for investors after overseas inflation data spooked the market into a sharp sell-off throughout the week.
The headline consumer price index from the United States was 0.9 per cent, far exceeding the market’s expectation of about 0.6 per cent.
“Those inflation numbers came in much hotter than expected,” Ms Lee said.
“That was in conjunction with the producer price index that we saw out of China this week, which showed factories are receiving more for their products – meaning in the supply chain manufacturers are increasing prices.
“And that’s likely to be felt by consumers buying products off the shelf.”
Elsewhere, Telstra was up 0.5 per cent, Transurban lost 0.3 per cent, Afterpay jumped nearly 2 per cent, Xero soared 3 per cent higher, and Qantas eked out a 0.4 per cent gain.
The Aussie dollar was buying 72.84 US cents, 54.51 British pence and 63.67 Euro cents in afternoon trade on Friday.