The Australian share market finished session higher on Tuesday, 24 November 2020, as progress in developing an inexpensive coronavirus vaccine boosted hopes of a swift recovery, while a formal transition approval for US President-elect Joe Biden also lifted sentiment. Queensland's decision to reopen borders with NSW next month a day after NSW and VIC opened theirs, has provided an additional boost.
At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 added 82.48 points, or 1.26%, to 6,644.07. The broader All Ordinaries rose 83.44 points, or 1.23%, to 6,855.47.
Vaccine excitement continues to support global markets. AstraZeneca said on Monday its Covid-19 vaccine could be up to 90% effective, cheaper to make and easier to ship than rival vaccines, lifting global equities. Stocks also got a boost after US President-elect Joe Biden received approval to begin the transition to the White House and after a report that he would pick former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to be the next Treasury secretary.
Energy stocks remained the strongest improvers on Tuesday, lifting by 3.5% as vaccine hopes could boost demand for oil. The price of oil has surged by ~20% in November despite the alarming lift in COVID-19 cases in the northern hemisphere.
Travel stocks remained higher, with Webjet (WEB) up 4.7%, Qantas (QAN) up 3.9% and Flight Centre (FLT) up 3%.
Economic news: Australia Exports Climb 6% On Month In October- Australia's exports grew 6% month-on-month to A$30.53 billion in October, preliminary data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Tuesday. On a yearly basis, exports were down 3% in October.
Australia exported a record A$13.46 billion of metalliferous ores, the majority of which was iron ore. Iron ore exports hit a record value of A$10.9 billion. Shipment of gas advanced 18%, which was the first month-on-month increase since March 2020. Meanwhile, exports of non-monetary gold were down 12% and that of petroleum slid 24%. Exports to China grew 7% as China continues to be the main export destination for iron ore. Shipments to Japan and the USA rose 11% and 5%, respectively. Data showed that imports were up 8% in October from September but declined 10% from the last year. Consequently, the trade balance showed a surplus of A$4.84 billion versus A$5.02 billion in the previous month.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar was at $0.7353 following an earlier low of $0.7281.
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