ASX 200 Extends Gains for Second Session as Materials, Airlines Rally

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ASX 200 Extends Gains for Second Session as Materials, Airlines Rally
Credit: © Reuters.

By Oliver Gray  - The S&P/ASX 200 added 44.40 points or 0.59% to 7,523.40 on Thursday, with travel and material stocks leading gains. The index also ended the week 0.6% higher ahead of public holidays on Friday and Monday.

Among stocks, Materials companies posted the largest gains overall, up 1.3% as Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) finishing flat at 120.54, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) adding 1.4% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) up 1.3%.

Information Technology companies advanced 1.3% amid easing bond yields, with Block Inc (ASX: SQ2 ) adding 1.9%, Appen Ltd (ASX: APX ) up 1.1%, Megaport Ltd (ASX: MP1 ) gaining 4.6% and Xero Ltd (ASX: XRO ) lifting 2%.

Travel related companies surged, with Webjet Ltd (ASX: WEB ) adding 7.5%, Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN ) up 7.1% and Flight Centre Ltd (ASX: FLT ) adding 5%.

Financials retreated 0.3% with Bank Of Queensland Ltd. (ASX: BOQ ) down 6.3% following underwhelming half-year profits. Meantime, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) lost 0.3%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) fell 0.7% and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC ) lost 0.7%.

On the data front, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed that the unemployment rate holding at 4% versus an expected fall to 3.9% while labor market participation remained steady.

On the bond markets, Australia 10-Year rates were at 2.97% while United States 10-Year yields were at 2.677%.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 added 0.1% to 11,892.

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