Australian Shares Trade 0.6% Higher

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Australian Shares Trade 0.6% Higher
Credit: © Reuters.

By Oliver Gray - The S&P/ASX 200 was higher in early deals on Thursday, adding 43.50 points or 0.60% to 7250 with market participants tracking gains on Wall Street as risk sentiment was boosted after Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell offered Democrats an emergency short-term extension to the federal debt ceiling into December.

In coronavirus news, Victoria tallied a near record 1638 cases today, while New South Wales reported 587 cases as the state officially reached the key vaccine milestone of 70% fully vaccinated allowing a gradual reopening from COVID-19 lockdowns.

Among stocks, Technology companies were among the best performing,  with Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT ) up 2.7%, Wisetech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC ) adding 2.2% and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX ) up 1.4%. Meantime, Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC ) lost 7.52%, Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT ) fell 1.75% and Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX: WPL ) lost 0.86% following reports that China would release Australian coal from storage in order to relieve its stressed power system.

ASX 200 Futures were 13 points or 0.18% higher.

On the bond markets, Australia 10-Year yields were at 4-month highs of 1.588% while United States 10-Year rates were at 1.529%.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 was 28.7 points or 0.22% lower at 13137.74.

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