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Australia Market rises 0.5%

Capital Market 

The Australian share market finished session higher on Thursday, 15 October 2020, on prospect of rate cut next month after speech by RBA governor Philip Lowe this morning where he hinted that the country's central bank was considering further monetary policy easing to help support the economic recovery following the recession tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adding further optimism, China's central bank on Thursday injected 500 billion yuan ($74.48 billion) worth of medium-term loans into the banking system and kept borrowing costs unchanged for the sixth straight month.

At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inclined 29.80 points, or 0.49%, to 6,131.97. The broader All Ordinaries added 30.59 points, or 0.48%, to 6,343.07.

Improvements were rather broad based with the resources sectors outperforming. The energy sector saw the biggest percentage gain as global oil prices picked up on expectations for a better than previously expected rebound in demand in 2021. Local oil and gas producers such as Santos (STO) and Oil Search (OSH) rose close to 4%.

Major miners also improved with BHP Group (BHP) advancing 2%. Whitehaven Coal (WHC) was a real standout finishing 11.6% higher after the coal miner released its September production update.

Coal sales rose 13% on the previous year as production also increased 4%. WHC has been on the slide of late following concerns of China banning Australian coal imports.

Technology stocks were the major underperformer as buy-now pay-later stocks all finished in the red. Afterpay (APT) fell 1.1% while ZipCo (Z1P) tumbled 7.5% after falling 4% yesterday following a quarterly update.

ECONOMIC NEWS: Australia Unemployment Rate Inches Up To 6.9% In September-Australia unemployment rate came in at a seasonally adjusted 6.9 percent in September, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, up from 6.8 percent in August. The Australian economy shed 29,500 jobs last month following the addition of 111,000 in the previous month. Full-time employment lost 20,100 jobs and part-time employment lost 9,400 jobs. The participation rate came in at 64.8 percent, unchanged and in line with expectations.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7089 following levels above $0.72 seen earlier this week.

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

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First Published: Thu, October 15 2020. 17:25 IST