Mining gains help lift ASX 1pct for week

The local share market has snapped its two-week losing streak thanks in part to the mining sector, which bounced back from its worst week in two years.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday closed up 45.5 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 6894.2, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 53.7 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 7139.

For the week the ASX200 finished up 65.5 points, or 0.96 per cent, for its first winning week since August 15-19.

The mining sector was the top performer on Friday, up 3.3 per cent as Mineral Resources, Fortescue Metals and BHP made strong gains.

“The whole materials sector is pushing it up,” Sydney-based CMC Markets analyst Azeem Sheriff told AAP.

Mineral Resources rocketed 13.6 per cent to an all-time high of $71.51 after the Australian Financial Review reported the mining services company was considering spinning off its lithium business.

Mineral Resources didn’t deny the report, but said any plans weren’t advanced or certain enough to warrant disclosure.

Elsewhere in the sector, Fortescue Metals had its best day since April 28, rising 6.1 per cent to a week and a half high of $17.81.

BHP added 3.2 per cent to $38.09, Rio Tinto advanced 2.7 per cent to $94.36, and South32 finished up 3.4 per cent to $4.25.

“There’s going to be a high demand for (metals), especially copper, in the medium term but there’s not going to be enough supply, so all these metal producers are expected to start producing a lot more,” Mr Sheriff said.

As enthusiasm for electric vehicles continues to grow, lithium miners Pilbara and Allkem both finished at all-time closing highs, rising 5.9 per cent to $4.50 and 5.1 per cent to $15.95, respectively.

The energy sector also saw a recovery, rising 1.1 per cent after the price of oil rebounded overnight to $US89 a barrel.

Woodside Energy increased 1.3 per cent to $32.52 and Santos added 1.0 per cent to $7.85, but Beach Energy was flat at $1.65.

The coalminers had another good day, with New Hope increasing 1.8 per cent to $5.54 and Whitehaven Coal rising 3.1 per cent $8.74.

Yancoal surged 5.3 per cent to $6.91 after majority shareholder China-based Yankuang Energy terminated its takeover bid.

The big four banks also saw some increases with Westpac adding 0.4 per cent to $21.25, ANZ growing 0.5 per cent to $23.02, NAB up 0.8 per cent to $29.85, and CBA adding 0.3 per cent to $95.53.

Tech grew for the fourth consecutive day, adding 0.5 per cent.

Tyro gained another 9.5 per cent to $1.375 following the EFTPOS machine provider’s announcement on Thursday it had rebuffed a $693 million tentative takeover by private equity firm Potential Capital.

Wisetech Global gained 2.5 per cent to $60.46, the logistics platform’s first-ever close above $60.

Six of the ASX’s 11 sectors finished lower, however, with consumer staples lagging the most, by 1.25 per cent.

Both major supermarkets recorded losses, with Woolworths down 1.6 per cent and Coles falling 1.2 per cent.

Meanwhile the Australian dollar had recovered somewhat against the greenback, buying 68.37 US cents, from 67.44 US cents at Wednesday’s close.

Looking forward, Mr Sheriff said there were two key data releases on tap for next week.

The US will announce the Consumer Price Index on Tuesday night, which will likely affect the ASX on Wednesday.

Domestically, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will disclose unemployment figures on Thursday.

“If the unemployment rate starts to tick up, like we saw in the US, then that’s a stronger indication that we could be heading into a recession earlier than we think,” said Sheriff.

“But if the labour market is strong, and the unemployment rate stays the same or decreases, then that’s positive for the equity markets.”


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday climbed 45.5 points to 6894.2, a 0.66 per cent rise.

* The broader All Ordinaries gained 53.7 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 7139.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 68.48 US cents, from 67.44 US cents at Thursday’s close

* 97.54 Japanese yen, from 96.98 yen

* 67.93 Euro cents, from 67.52 cents

* 59.00 British pence, from 58.67 pence

* 111.97 NZ cents, from 111.46 cents.

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