Bulls cheer as the ASX is now a stone’s throw (away) from February 2020 all-time high

April 8, 2021 - 2 weeks ago
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The Australian sharemarket powered to a fresh 13-month high on Thursday after posting a five-day bullish streak, with the ASX 200 index just a stone’s throw (away) from pre-COVID record levels and an all-time high at 7,197.20.

At the closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed +70.8 points, or +1.02%, to 6,998.8, while the All Ordinaries advanced +72.9 points, or +1.02%, to 7,250.3, and within arm’s reach of its all-time peak of 7289.7 points.

The S&P/ASX 200 index hit a post-pandemic high of 7,012.4 points on Thursday, a level last recorded on February 24 and has now chalked up a +3.8% in the past five days.

Meanwhile, breaking news that Blood clots have sparked an overhaul of the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced urgent changes to the vaccine rollout on Thursday after European health authorities warned of the risk of rare but serious side effects from the drug after experts said the AstraZeneca drug was not advisable for people younger than 50 because of fears of blood clots.

Meanwhile, all sectors ended in the green, with Materials booking a +1.83% gain, with BHP Group lifting the titans higher after climbing +2.57% to $47.06, while Fortescue Metals Group rose +2.54% to $21.00 and Rio Tinto Limited gained +2.15%, to $115.88.

Gold miners continued to shine, with Newcrest Mining adding +1.97%, to $26.42, Northern Star Resources rose +1.22%, to $10.78, and Evolution Mining Ltd added +2.05%, to $4.47.

As for our oil and gas producers, Woodside Petroleum rose +0.29%, to $24.46, while Oil Search rose +0.24%, to $4.13, Origin Energy added +0.42%, to $4.77, Santos lost -0.28%, to $7.14, and Worley ended to a -1.47% loss of $10.75.

Telstra finished +1.18% higher at $3.43, while Woolworths rose +1.02%, to $41.76, Wesfarmers added +0.71%, to $53.91, QBE Insurance added +2.16%, to $9.93, and Aristocrat Leisure rose +2.34%, to $36.79.

The Financial sector was firmer, with Westpac Banking Corp leading the “Fab Four” (banks) higher by +1.29%, to $25.16, while National Australia Bank added +1.1%, to $26.63, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group gained +1.05%, to $28.74, Commonwealth Bank advanced +0.68%, to $87.12 and Macquarie Group rose +1.27% and settled at $153.61.

Buy-now-pay-later giant Afterpay put on +1.29%, to $120.01, accounting software provider Xero added +0.78%, $136.83, and EML Payments rally continued to a +5.72% gain and settled at $5.73 after yesterday’s announcement it had inked a deal to buy European fintech enabler Sentinel.

Among travel stocks, Flight Centre lost -0.05%, to $18.93, Corporate Travel Management fell -0.41%, to $19.34, and Webjet dropped -0.89%, to $5.54, and Qantas rose +0.37, to close at $5.42.

Real estate shares remained firm, with Charter Hall rising +0.91%, to $13.30, Lendlease rose +0.07%, to $13.35, and Stockland rose +1.55% to $4.60.

Our local currency, the Australian dollar, is currently buying US$0.7640 (as of writing).

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