The Australian share market finished session higher on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, as investors took heart from positive lead from Wall Street overnight after mostly solid U. S. fourth-quarter corporate earnings and strong economic data against concerns over the spread of coronavirus.
At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index advanced 42.78 points, or 0.61%, to 7,055.31, while the broader All Ordinaries added 43.45 points, or 0.61%, to 7,151.44.
Global stock markets enjoyed a strong rebound as investors banked that the economic damage from the novel coronavirus would be limited and that any ensuing shock would be contained by central bank stimulus.
The closely watched US jobs report on Friday showed that hiring accelerated in January while more Americans joined the labour force, a positive sign for the economy at the start of 2020. Expectations for the Federal Reserve to prop up the economy with easy financial conditions if the coronavirus spills over into the U. S., also helped to support stocks.
The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in mainland China soared past 1,000 on Tuesday, surpassing the 774 attributed to the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, a 2003 viral outbreak that originated in China, while the prolonged disruption to factories and businesses played havoc with the world's second-largest economy.
The financial subindex added to the benchmark's gains, with the "Big Four" banks rising between 0.7% and 0.9%.
Healthcare stocks advanced, with heavyweight CSL Ltd and Ramsay Health Care Ltd ending 0.6% and 1.1% higher.
Elsewhere, investment management firm Challenger Ltd was the top gainer on the benchmark after forecasting FY20 net profit to be around the top end of its outlook range.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6708 after touching an earlier low of $0.6679.
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