Headline indices of the Australia stock market inclined on Thursday, 12 July 2018, as investors chased for value buying, a day after a bruising selloff amid fears of an escalation in the U. S.-China trade war after the United States said it would impose tariffs on an extra 200 billion worth of Chinese imports and China said it would retaliate. Total 8 out of 10 ASX issues inclined, with shares in financial, realty, healthcare, tech, and consumer discretionary issues being notable gainers. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rebounded 52.71 points or 0.85% to 6,268.31, the highest close since December 2007. The broader All Ordinaries Index rose by 49.56 points or 0.79% to 6,349.77.
Shares of financials were the key contributor to gains for the local bourse with all major lenders in the green around the 2% mark as Australia's banking watchdog on Wednesday said its intense crackdown on risky mortgage lending was largely complete, as higher lending rates were also helping cool the country's housing market. ANZ led the big banks' rally, soaring 2.2% to A$29.20, followed by NAB, up 1.8% to A$28.15, while Westpac gained 1.6% to A$29.76 and Commonwealth Bank rose 1.6% to A$75.21.
Shares of Health care companies also advanced, propping up the benchmark.
CSL, the country's fifth largest firm by market value, and hearing aid maker Cochlear strengthened in the range of 1.5% - 2.5%..
However, a slump in oil and commodities prices drove down energy and materials stock, capping the benchmark's rise. Global benchmark Brent crude oil had its biggest one-day drop in two years on Wednesday, putting pressure on oil-focused firms. A plunge in base metal prices on Wednesday, lead by a 3% drop in London copper pushed materials stock, especially miners lower. Among energy stocks, Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search, and Origin Energy were sliding in the range of 2% - 4%. Among miners, BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO), and South32 (S32) fell in the range of 0.5% - 1%.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Commodity-linked Australian dollar was little changed against greenback on Thursday after suffering deep losses on Wednesday. The Aussie, considered a liquid proxy for China-related trades, traded little changed at $0.7366 after dropping 1.2% overnight.
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