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ASX200 Scales Rare Heights Of 7000 Points

Australia’s share market has scaled rarely-seen heights, with the ASX200 topping 7000 points. 

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s main share market index climbed to rarely-visited heights — 7000 points — not seen since the days before the coronavirus crash on April 8. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 70.6 points, or 1.01 percent, to 6998.6.

The market was lower and most sectors down, a day after its highest close since the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 9, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 26.4 points, or 0.37 percent, to 6972.4 at 1200 AEST.

On April 8, the main share market index rose as high as 7012.4 just after 1130 Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) before easing.

“The ASX200’s record high is 7197.2, set on Feb. 20 last year, days before investors started a selling spree as the pandemic unfolded,” said analysts.

The All Ordinaries on April 8 was higher by 69.8 points, or 0.97 percent, to 7247.2 points.

Almost all sectors were higher. The heavyweights of financials and materials were doing well, higher by 1.4 and 1.06 percent, respectively. The smaller telecommunications sector was best, up 1.45 percent.

U.S. markets were little changed after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its most recent meeting that reinforced the central bank’s position to remain patient before raising rates.

“It would likely take some time for substantial progress on goals of maximum employment and stable prices,” said Fed officials.

The S&P 500 rose 6.01 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,079.95 on April 8. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained the same percentage to 33,446.26. The Nasdaq composite slipped 9.54 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,688.84.

The U.S. markets closed higher on April 9 despite a second consecutive rise in weekly initial jobless claims data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57.31 points, or 0.17 percent, to 33,503.57, the S&P 500 gained 17.22 points, or 0.42 percent, to 4,097.17, and the Nasdaq Composite added 140.47 points, or 1.03 percent, to 13,829.31.

In Australia, regulator ASIC is suing Westpac, claiming it supplied consumer credit insurance to customers who had not asked for it.

ASIC wants Westpac to be fined for selling the products to hundreds of customers during three months in 2015.

The bank is yet to say whether it will defend the claims.

Investors in Westfield-owner Scentre Group served a ‘first strike’ on executive’s pay after company leaders produced a full-year loss and reduced the final dividend.

Investors participating in the company’s annual general meeting cast a 51 percent vote against executives’ remuneration, following pandemic-plagued results.

(Edited by Amrita Das and Pallavi Mehra)