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Australia shares wrap up holiday-shortened week on firm note

Stock Markets Apr 01, 2021 17:00
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© Reuters.

* AMP jumps nearly 5% after naming new CEO

* Tech stocks mark best day since March 16, up about 2.5%

* Biden's EV plan boosts lithium, copper-exposed stocks (Updates to close)

By Nikhil Subba

April 1 (Reuters) - Australian shares settled higher on Thursday, wrapping up the holiday-shortened week on a firm note as investor cheered an end to Brisbane lockdown ahead of the long Easter weekend.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO closed up 0.6% at 6,828.70, with gold and technology stocks leading the gains. Both Australian and New Zealand markets are closed on Friday and Monday for Easter holidays.

Market participants cheered after Australia ended a lockdown of its third-biggest city Brisbane, just in time for Easter holidays, as only one new locally transmitted COVID-19 case in Queensland state eased fears of a widespread outbreak. haven't been told anything today that we're going to continue on into Easter, which is really good news," said Brad Smoling, managing director of Smoling Stockbroking, of the three-day lockdown in Brisbane.

Technology stocks .AXIJ closed about 2.5% higher in their best session since March 16, following a tech-led rally on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose on Wednesday, boosted by gains in technology shares, and the three major Wall Street indexes registered their fourth straight quarterly rise as investors positioned themselves for U.S. President Joe Biden's massive infrastructure plan. .N

Megaport MP1.AX gained 5.7%, while Afterpay APT.AX added about 4%.

Gold stocks .AXGD ended 2.9% higher, notching their best session in two weeks, as bullion prices rebounded. GOL/

West African Resources WAF.AX advanced 7.8%, while De Grey Mining DEG.AX climbed 8.6%.

Miners .AXMM added 1.6%, lifted by higher iron ore prices. BHP Group BHP.AX rose 0.8%, while Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) RIO.AX gained 1.1%.

Lithium and copper-exposed stocks advanced as Biden's $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan pushed for investments and subsidies on electric vehicles. heavyweight financial sector .AXFJ climbed 0.4%, bolstered by a near 5% gain in AMP Ltd AMP.AX after the embattled wealth manager named its new chief executive officer. Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 closed 0.6% lower at 12,488.31. Vista Group VGL.NZ and Stride Property SPG.NZ were the top losers.

Australia shares wrap up holiday-shortened week on firm note
 

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