ASX 200 Opens at 5-Week Highs

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ASX 200 Opens at 5-Week Highs
Credit: © Reuters.

By Oliver Gray - The S&P/ASX 200 started the week higher, up 0.4% in the first hour of trade and posting fresh 5-week highs as market participants monitored better than expected earnings results in the U.S. markets, while sentiment was also buoyed as commodity prices lifted.

ASX 200 Futures was steady at 7414.5.

In coronavirus data, Victoria tallied 1461 cases today, as Premier Daniel Andrews announced that a raft of restrictions would be lifted for the fully vaccinated this Friday, including the ban on travel between Melbourne and regional Victoria. Meantime, New South Wales recorded 294 cases as students make their return to schools across the state.

Among stocks, mining heavyweights opened higher after a lift in Iron ore prices. Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) added 0.71%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) was up 0.58% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) gained 0.35%. Energy stocks were also higher as crude oil prices firmed over the weekend, with Santos Ltd (ASX: STO ) up 1.28%, Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX: WPL ) adding 1.42% and Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH ) gaining 1.15%. Meantime, technology names lagged amid persistent inflation fears and higher bond yields, as Ltd (ASX: KGN ) lost 4.14%, Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT ) dipped 2.09% and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX ) fell 1.56%.

On the bond markets, Australia 10-Year rates were at 6-month highs of 1.78% while United States 10-Year yields eased to 1.636%.

Ahead in the week, investors will be closely monitoring Australia's third-quarter consumer price inflation and a preliminary retail sales reading.

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