The S&P/ASX 200 index closed higher for the third consecutive day on Monday, driven by a rally in gold and oil stocks amid escalating tensions in the Middle East. The index ended at 6,970.2 with the energy, healthcare, and materials sectors leading the surge. Meanwhile, IT, staples, and property sectors lagged behind.
Investors sought safety amid the geopolitical unrest, which led to the Australian dollar plunging to an 11-month low of $0.63. Energy stocks including Woodside (OTC: WOPEY ) (WDS) and Santos (STO) surged with rising oil prices. Gold stocks such as Evolution (EVN), Northern Star, De Grey (DEG), Silver Lake (SLR), West African Resources (WAF), and Newcrest (NCM) also stood out on the ASX200.
The reopening of Chinese markets after the Golden Week holiday had a significant impact on iron ore prices. Dalian iron ore futures fell by 3%, while Fortescue saw a 1.8% decline. The market now awaits the NAB business survey and Westpac's monthly consumer confidence data due tomorrow.
In other market news, Qantas hit new yearly lows, and Altium was reconsidered for growth. Guzman y Gomez flagged a potential initial public offering (IPO). Broker moves impacted stocks like Steadfast, Amcor (NYSE: AMCR ) GDRs, Beach Energy (OTC: BCHEY ), Viva Energy, Woodside Energy, CSR and Bank of Queensland.
Woodside received an upgrade from RBC while Magellan's performance decreased. The broader Asian stock markets showed mixed performance with US Futures down by -0.7%. The recent Hamas attacks in Israel influenced global markets, leading to a surge in oil and gold prices.
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