Dec 1 Australian shares rose on Thursday led by
rally in materials and energy stocks after OPEC's deal to cut
production lifted oil prices.
The S&P/ASX 200 index, which gained 2.3 percent in
November, rose 0.4 points, or 23.6 points, to 5,464.1 by 0055
Oil prices jumped more than 10 percent to the highest in a
month after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries on Wednesday agreed to its first output cut since
2008, aiming to reduce 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), or
over 3 percent, from January.
Australia's benchmark energy index climbed 7 percent
to a one-year high, with all major stocks gaining. Woodside
Petroleum hit an over one-year high, and was last up 6
percent, while Santos Ltd touched a two-month high and
was trading 12.7 percent higher.
Gains in "commodities linked stocks today on the back of
OPEC is what is driving the market higher...the rest of the
market is fairly uninspiring," said Christopher Conway, head of
research and trading at Australian Stock Report.
Index heavyweight BHP Billiton helped the index
most with a 4.7 percent jump to snap three sessions of losses.
Rio Tinto was also among top movers.
"Company like BHP which obviously falls into the materials
sector but is the biggest producer of oil in Australia, so that
is the reason why you are seeing a big bump in the materials,"
The benchmark financial index extended its strong
run, with the "Big four" banks up between 0.5 percent and 1.2
percent. The sector got a boost from solid showing in U.S. peers
Investors are betting U.S. President elect Donald Trump's
policies will benefit stock markets, with expectations of higher
spending on infrastructure and simpler regulations in the
healthcare and banking industries.
At the other end, real estate stocks took a hit for a second
session, after data on Wednesday showed approvals to build new
homes sank in October, hinting that the boom in home building
might be turning to rubble.
Shopping center company Westfield Corp fell 2.2
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3
percent, or 22.59 points, to 6,919.54, led by materials and
Fletcher Building added as much as 2.6 percent,
while a2 Milk Company Ltd hit a nine-month high.
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(Reporting by Suhail Hassan Bhat in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri