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Australian Shares Climb 1.5% as they Return Towards a “Pre-pandemic Normal”

March 1, 2021


Australian shares rose more than 1% early in Monday’s session, after some of the country’s most populated states continued easing restrictions over the weekend as the regions recorded no community transmissions of COVID-19.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 1.5% at 6,775.60, despite the benchmark finishing 2.4% lower on Friday.

Life across Australia has gradually returned to its pre-pandemic normal, with New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia states allowing some dancing and Victoria permitting larger crowds at sporting events.

The Australian technology sub-index was top gainer on the benchmark, rising as much as 2.8% and set for its best session since February 10th, helped in part by the recent improvement in talks between Facebook and the Australian government.

• Altium Ltd advanced nearly 4% and was on track for its biggest intra-day percentage gain since October 8th last year, while Afterpay Ltd added almost
4.2%.
• Healthcare stocks rose more than 2% and were heading for their best day in nearly two weeks.
• Clinuvel Pharma climbed about 3.5% to a near nine-week high, while Pro Medicus gained close to 4.3%.

The heavyweight finanical index rose 1.4%, with the “Big Four” banks gaining between 0.7% and 1.3%.

Bucking the upward trend, gold stocks tumbled up to 1.6%, as bullion prices slumped with a stronger US dollar and elevated US Treasury yields hammering non-yielding metal’s appeal.

In New Zealand, their benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slid 0.3% to 12,188.65, after Auckland imposed a second lockdown this past month, as authorities try to rein in a cluster of the more contagious UK variant.

• Skycity Entertainment fell nearly 4% after the company announced certain measures in response to the government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

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