The Australian share market has rallied to snap a four-week losing streak, with nearly every sector in the green after China took measures to prop up its econony.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished on Friday up 81.1 points to 7,145.6, a 1.15 per cent gain, while the wider All Ordinaries rose 87.7 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 7,391.
For the week the ASX200 was up 1.0 per cent, its best performance since the week ending Friday, April 1.
“It’s a nice way to finish the week, everything’s a little bit better. So, long may it last, as they say,” said Pepperstone market analyst Chris Weston.
But he added he was wary of the rally. “I don’t trust it at all. I’ll take it, but I don’t trust it. The mantra of sell rallies is very much the case now. Rather than buying weakness, the market is looking for levels where you can sell strength.”
Mr Weston said China’s central bank on Friday cutting rates on a key lending benchmark to support its lockdown-damaged economy may have sparked the rally.
Tech stocks were the biggest gainers on Friday, with the sector rising 4.6 per cent to snap a six-week losing streak with a 5.0 per cent weekly gain.
Afterpay owner Block added 9.9 per cent, Altium advanced 6.2 per cent and 3D dataset company Pointerra soared 20.5 per cent to a five-week high of 26.5c.
MyDeal.com.au soared 55.8 per cent to $1.005 after Woolworths bailed out shareholders by agreeing to acquire the online marketplace for $1.05 a share, or $243 million.
MyDeal listed on the ASX in October 2020 after a $1-per-share IPO, but its shares haven’t traded for that level in over a year.
Woolworths shares were up 0.5 per cent to $35.35.
The materials sector was also up strongly, by 2.2 per cent, with BHP advancing 2.1 per cent to $47.18, Rio Tinto climbing 1.5 per cent to $108.35 and Fortescue adding 3.9 per cent to $20.15.
Goldminers were up as the US dollar weakened against the Aussie, with Evolution climbing 6.3 per cent, Northern Star advancing 4.1 per cent and Newcrest up 2.6 per cent.
Chalice Mining had soared 19.1 per cent to a two-week high of $6.81 after announcing it had all the approvals necessary to begin exploratory drilling at its Julimar nickel-copper-platinum project in WA.
All four big banks had gained ground, with CBA climbing 0.8 per cent to $104.60, NAB up 0.7 per cent to $31.07, ANZ adding 0.9 per cent to $25.50 and Westpac advancing 0.5 per cent to $23.57.
AMP was down 2.2 per cent to $$1.115, after new chief executive Alexis George made no promises to shareholders at the annual general meeting about when regular dividends would resume.
Crown Resorts gained 0.2 per cent to $12.84 as shareholders overwhelmingly approved its takeover by US private equity group Blackstone for $13.10 a share.
The energy sector had fallen following Woodside shareholders on Thursday approving its $41 billion merger with BHP’s petroleum business, which will result in 914 million new Woodside shares being issued to BHP shareholders.
Woodside shares fell 3.8 per cent to $28.77, while Santos dropped 1.6 per cent to $8.08.
Property was the only other sector losing ground, falling 0.2 per cent on losses for shopping mall owners Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Vicinity Centres and Scentre Group.
The Australian dollar was buying 70.49 US cents, from 69.78 US cents at Thursday’s close.
Looking ahead, Mr Weston didn’t expect that Saturday’s federal election would have any effect on the local market unless there was a hung parliament.
ON THE ASX:
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished up 81.1 points, or 1.15 per cent, to close at 7,145.6 on Friday.
The All Ordinaries index climbed 87.7 points, or 1.22 per cent, to 7,391.
One Australian dollar buys:
70.49 US cents, from 69.78 US cents when the ASX closed on Thursday.
90.10 Japanese yen, from 89.70 yen.
66.62 Euro cents, from 66.59 cents.
56.48 British pence, from 56.51 pence.
110.07 NZ cents, from 110.42 NZ cents.