Australian Shares Extend Gains for 3rd Session

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Australian Shares Extend Gains for 3rd Session
Credit: © Reuters.

By Oliver Gray - The S&P/ASX 200 finished Thursday’s trade 20.20 points or 0.28% higher at 7,288.50, extending gains for the third session as positive corporate earnings reports both locally and abroad boosted investor sentiment.

The Technology sector outperformed, lifting 2.61% and posting a strong recovery after last week’s sell-off.

Block Inc (ASX: SQ2 ) led the gains, up 9.71%. Appen Ltd (ASX: APX ) added 3.81%, Megaport Ltd (ASX: MP1 ) surged 7.64%, Novonix Ltd (ASX: NVX ) eased 0.15%, Brainchip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN ) lifted 0.91%, Altium Ltd (ASX: ALU ) gained 1.78%, Computershare Ltd. (ASX: CPU ) added 2.75% Xero Ltd (ASX: XRO ) added 0.53% and Wisetech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC ) gained 0.11%.

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) gained 4.51% and boosted the Financial sector after reporting cash earnings of $1.8 billion for the quarter to December, compared with $1.65 billion a year earlier, well above Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) estimates of $1.6 billion.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) added 1.06%, Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC ) gained 1.07%, Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) lifted 1.23%, while Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG ) lost 2.16%.

Meantime, Materials finished 0.66% higher with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) up 2.09%, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) easing 0.08%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) climbing 3.97%, Champion Iron Ltd (ASX: CIA ) adding 0.28%, Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS ) lifting 1.2 % and Lake Resources NL (ASX: LKE ) gaining 2.7%.

Among currencies, the Australian dollar was trading slightly lower on Thursday, down 0.05% to 0.71746 but holding near three-week highs, while the US Dollar Index was flat at 95.555.

On the bond markets, Australia 10-Year yields were steady at 35-month highs of 2.098% while United States 10-Year rates were near 25-month highs of 1.928%.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 0.17% to 12,413.

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