By Oliver Gray
Investing.com - The S&P/ASX 200 added 50.30 points or 0.69% to 7,362.00 on Friday morning trade, extending gains of 0.8% in the previous session and finishing the week 0.62% higher, lifted by airline stocks as New South Wales moves toward further easing of restrictions, while easing long term bond yields boosted technology heavyweights.
ASX 200 Futures were flat at 7333.
In coronavirus news, Victoria recorded 2179 new cases following yesterday’s record high of 2297 as health authorities move ahead with preparations to ease restriction. New South Wales recorded 399 new local cases of COVID-19 as Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that hotel and home quarantine will no longer be required for vaccinated people entering NSW, including those coming from overseas, from November 1.
Among stocks, airlines lifted amid reopening optimism, as Flight Centre (ASX: FLT ) gained 3.96%, Webjet Ltd (ASX: WEB ) increased 3.72% and Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN ) rose by 1.79%. Technology names also lifted, with Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT ) gaining 1.76%, Appen Ltd (ASX: APX ) up 3.43% and Wisetech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC ) lifting 0.8%. Meantime, BHP (ASX: BHP ) was up 2.54% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) added 1.89%, while Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) fell 0.95% after significantly downgrading its guidance for iron ore shipments.
Among recent data, Australia’s official unemployment rate rose to 4.6% in September, little changed from a near 13-year low of 4.5% in August, with approximately 140,000 fewer people employed during the month amid lockdowns across the country.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 36.3 points or 0.28% to 13012.19.
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