Wall Street Gains Led to Higher Equity Market Trades

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When the market closed on 9 December, Asian equity markets generally traded higher. The Australian share market closed with moderate gains thanks to the mining and real estate sectors.

The S&P/ASX 200 index increased 0.5 per cent or 37.7 points to 7213.2 after three consecutive losses, where miners led the gains for this day’s close with more substantial iron ore prices.

Cecile Lefort, a markets reporter for the Australian Financial Review, reported, “BHP Group jumped 2.7 per cent to $47.48, Fortescue Metals powered up 2.8 per cent to $21.39, and Rio Tinto advanced 2.3 per cent to $117.16. Shares in Healius ended flat at $2.88. After Malcolm Parmenter stepped down, the company agreed to sell Montserrat Day Hospitals for $139 million and promoted Maxine Jaquet to be its new CEO.”

ABC’s business reporter Samuel Yang noted, “Champion Iron had the biggest gain on the ASX 200 index as iron ore prices were buoyed by easing in China’s domestic COVID curbs. Sandfire Renounces, BrianChip and Megaport were among the top 10 gainers.”

Chinese benchmarks also rose along with its government’s plan to create new measures to support its property sector. China’s zero-Covid policy is also expected to be more relaxed, providing renewed hope for the economy to gain momentum.

Lefort also noted that the iron ore futures were set for weekly gains in connection to the relaxation of the zero-Covid policy since China is still the top steel producer globally. Westpac expects moderate growth in the next two years, targeting 2.6 growth in 2023.

Chief economist Bill Evans states, “A six-month period of a stagnant economy and no growth in household spending will alert the RBA to the need to ease policy settings in 2024.” Evans also predicted that the inflation will go down to 3 per cent by 2024, 0.25 per cent lower than the RBA’s current forecast for the year.

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