Australian Shares Finish 0.2% Higher, CPI Hits 21-Year High

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Australian Shares Finish 0.2% Higher, CPI Hits 21-Year High

By Oliver Gray - The S&P/ASX 200 added 15.9 points or 0.2% to 6,823.2, extending gains of 0.3% in the previous session after recovering from a broadly flat start to push higher in the afternoon.

Among stocks, Health Care led the gains, up 1.2% as CSL Ltd (ASX: CSL ) gained 1.8%, Resmed Inc (ASX: RMD ) added 0.7%, Pro Medicus Ltd (ASX: PME ) lifted 2.7% and Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: CUV ) gained 8%.

Financials added 1.1% with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ ) up 0.4%, Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX: CBA ) adding 2.2%, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB ) lifting 1.4% and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC ) gaining 1.3% while Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG ) fell 1.1%.

Meantime, Zip Co Ltd (ASX: ZIP ) extended its recent rally, up 21% while Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL ) also popped 95.8% before entering a trading halt “pending a further announcement”.

Materials led losses, down 1.2% as Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO ) and BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP ) dipped 2% apiece, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG ) fell 2.8% and Champion Iron Ltd (ASX: CIA ) lost 4.5%.

On the data front, Australia's annual inflation rate lifted to 6.1% in Q2 to touch the highest levels since 2001.

On the bond markets, Australia 10-Year rates were 3.275% while United States 10-Year yields were at 2.801%.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 0.3% to 11,135.

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