ASX 200 Reverses Losses to Close 0.3% Higher

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ASX 200 Reverses Losses to Close 0.3% Higher
Credit: © Reuters.

By Oliver Gray - the S&P/ASX 200 added 18.00 points or 0.25% to 7266.20, slightly recovering heavy losses of 2.1% in the previous session as sentiment recovered despite overnight losses on Wall Street and ongoing concerns around Chinese property group Evergrande and the impact on China's financial system.

In coronavirus news, New South Wales added 1022 cases as health authorities announced a weeklong lockdown in several local government areas. Victoria recorded a fresh outbreak high of 603 cases, while the ACT recorded 16 fresh cases with 11 infectious while in the community.

Among stocks, APA Group (ASX: APA ) closed 5.37% lower after it revealed an A$9.9 billion bid for electricity grid provider AusNet Services. The offer will be considered following an exclusive eight-week due diligence lockup for Brookfield Asset Management Inc (TSX: BAMa ), which is also pushing to acquire the company. AusNet Services Ltd (ASX: AST ) shares closed up 9.75%, extending gains of 20% in the previous session. Heavyweight miners also closed higher despite falling Iron ore prices, with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ), BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) lifting 0.49%, 0.59% and 0.34%.

In policy news, minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest meeting reflected a positive view on the country’s medium-term outlook in part due to fiscal support throughout the protracted lockdowns. Policymakers resolved to reduce weekly bond purchases from a rate of $5 billion a week to $4 billion from the end of September, while pushing out a review of its weekly buying from November to February.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 closed little changed at 13176.94.

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