Australia shares gain as strong commodities lift energy, mining stocks

14-Jan-2022 Intellasia | Reuters | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Australian shares closed higher on Thursday, as energy and mining stocks found support from strong commodity prices, while troubled casino operator Crown Resorts soared 9 percent after US private-equity firm Blackstone sweetened its takeover offer.

The S&P/ASX 200 index (.AXJO) closed 0.5 percent higher at 7,474.4, extending gains to a second straight session.

Limiting the gains was caution among investors after latest US inflation data showed surging price pressures could reinforce bets that the Federal Reserve will soon be raising interest rates.

Investors appeared to show scant response to reports that Australia saw its biggest pandemic case-load with a runaway Omicron outbreak driving up hospitalisation rates as the surge continues to put severe strain on supply chains.

Shares of Crown Resorts (CWN.AX) jumped to a seven-month high after the company said its board was likely to back an improved A$8.87 billion ($6.46 billion) buyout proposal by Blackstone Inc (BX.N).

“I think we’re getting down to the brass tacks now. We’re getting down to a figure that you either take it or they’ll walk away,” said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling Stockbroking

In their fifth session of gains, miners (.AXMM) were the top gainers with a nearly 3 percent climb to their highest levels since August 16.

Nickel Mines (NIC.AX) and IGO (IGO.AX) rose 5.2 percent and 3.8%, respectively, as prices of the metal soared amid supply fears.

Energy stocks (.AXEJ) jumped as much 1.5 percent to their highest level in more than two months, tracking gains in oil prices.

Australia’s biggest oil and gas firms Woodside Petroleum (WPL.AX) and Santos (STO.AX) jumped 2.3 percent and 1.6%, respectively.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index (.NZ50) edged 0.18 percent higher to 12,826.99 with corporate travel and expense service provider Serko (SKO.NZ) up 4.8%.

($1 = 1.3725 Australian dollars)


Category: Regional

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