Australia: Market extends gain on Dovish Fed

December 01,2022

Australia stock market finished higher for third straight session on Thursday, 01 December 2022, as risk sentiments strengthened on tracking Wall Street's gains overnight after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell struck a more dovish tone than the market expected.

At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 70.25 points, or 0.96%, to 7,354.42. The broader All Ordinaries index added 73.36 points, or 0.98%, to 7,554.01.

Total 9 of 11 sectors ended higher along with the S&P/ASX 200 Index. Materials was the best performing sector, gaining 2.65%. meanwhile utilities (up 1.17%), A-REIT (up 1.04%), consumer discretionary (up 0.95%), and information technology (up 0.86%) issues were notable gainers. Energy issue underperformed, losing 0.84%.

Investors cheered as the US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated a slowdown in interest rate increases as soon as December. Powell suggested that the US central bank is preparing to raise its benchmark rate by 0.5 percentage points when its monetary policy committee gathers in December, after a string of 0.75-point increases. Powell's remarks followed government data released earlier on Wednesday that showed a decline in job openings in October, indicating that this year's monetary tightening has slowed down the labour market.

The top performing stocks in S&P/ASX200 index were RAMELIUS RESOURCES and BLOCK INC., up 10.5% and 7.4% respectively. The bottom performing stocks in S&P/ASX200 index were HMC CAPITAL and NEXTDC, down 7.3% and 3.8% respectively.

Shares of materials and resources companies surged on strong base metal prices. Iron ore behemoths BHP and Fortescue added more than 2% each.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar was up 0.2% at $0.680 against greenback after trading in range 06782-0.6841 on Thursday, after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that the central bank will likely slow its pace of future interest rate hikes , although weak economic data prints from China stifled sentiment.

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