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Australia Market extends gain

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The Australian share market finished higher fourth consecutive session on Wednesday, 20 May 2020, on gradual re-opening of some economies and easing concerns over an escalation in U. S.-China trade tensions. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 13.53 points, or 0.24%, to 5,573.05. The broader All Ordinaries advanced 21.30 points, or 0.38%, to 5,680.14.

Tech and industrial stocks helped push the market higher for most of the day. EML Payments (EML) rose by 13% and was the best performing company on the market.

The prepaid gift card provider said that revenue over the nine months to March rose by 20%. EML shied away from providing guidance for the year due to COVID-19 disruptions. Zip Co (Z1P) rose by 8.4% and Afterpay (APT) gained 2.1%.

Mining and energy stocks underperformed, taking a breather following gains of ~10% in just three days. BHP and Rio Tinto finished 0.94% and 0.34% lower respectively, though Fortescue Metals touched a new record high of $13.98 on the way to closing 0.22% higher.

ECONOMIC NEWS: Australia Westpac Leading Index Indicates Broad-Based Economic Contraction In April- Australia's leading index fell to -5.16% in April from -2.34% in March, signalling a broad-based economic contraction, data from the Westpac showed Wednesday. This was the weakest reading since the global financial crisis. The score indicates the likely pace of economic activity relative to trend three to nine months into the future.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar was at $0.654 after seeing an earlier low of $0.6523.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 17:52 IST