ASX jumps as miners soar

The ASX jumped 1.3 per cent higher, and increased as much as 1.8 per cent, after a lift in commodity prices. Picture – Supplied.

The Australian share market soared on Friday as strong leads from Wall St and Europe, alongside better-than-expected data from China, pushed traders’ confidence about the global economic outlook higher.

The S & P/ASX 200 climbed 92.5 points, or 1.3 per cent, to close at 7,279 points, while the broader All Ordinaries climbed even higher, up 99.9 points or 1.4 per cent, to close at 7.482.6 points.

All 11 sectors finished in the green with miners by far the strongest performers. Shares in BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue all stormed ahead to more than 3.4 per cent higher with iron ore futures in Singapore climbing to six-month highs of $US122.25 a tonne.

Singapore iron ore futures breaches $US122.25 a tonne. Picture – BHP
Singapore iron ore futures breaches $US122.25 a tonne. Picture – BHP

Benchmark US oil futures also closed at over $US90 per barrel overnight for the first time since November. Fresh CPI and PPI figures released from the US over the last two days show high energy prices are the most significant contributor to inflationary pressures.

A raft of stronger Chinese economic data was also released by the National Bureau of Statistics which showed industrial output was up 4.5 per cent in the year to August, beating expectations of a 3.9 per cent increase.

Chinese retail sales, a proxy for consumption, was up 4.6 per cent in August, well ahead of a forecast 3 per cent gain.

On the local benchmark, tech stocks also performed strongly, up 1.93 per cent through trading. Sector heavyweights Xero climbed 1.8 per cent to $122.15 while Wisetech was up 2 per cent to $68.97.

A raft of Chinese economic data, which came in above forecasters expectations, sent the ASX higher. (Photo by AFP) / China OUT
A raft of Chinese economic data, which came in above forecasters expectations, sent the ASX higher. (Photo by AFP) / China OUT

In company news, Woodside stocks increased 1.3 per cent, reaching $38.39, amid news that the oil and gas company had once more postponed a seismic survey related to its $16.5 billion Scarborough LNG project in Western Australia.

The delay followed yesterday’s Federal Court decision, which granted an injunction preventing the commencement of survey work.

Despite another blow from the competition watchdog, Qantas shares jumped 0.4 per cent to close at $5.61.

The ACCC proposed to deny the carrier an extension of its eight-year partnership with China Eastern Airlines until next March over concerns of high ticket prices on its Sydney-Shanghai route.

But it wasn’t all positive news. Wholesale retailer Metcash, whose brands include IGA, Mitre 10 and Celebrations dropped 0.2 per cent on news that total sales had increased by just 1.7 per cent amid ongoing cost of living pressures.

In another blow for freshly-minted Qantas chief executive Vanessa Hudson, the airline’s partnership with China Eastern Airlines remains in limbo. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

AMP chief economist Dr Shane Oliver said the local share market had surged higher after stronger economic data helped shrug off a bout of nervousness among traders.

Despite stronger-than-expected inflationary pressures – largely attributable to the strength of oil and gasoline prices – Dr Oliver said it was not enough for the US central bank to raise rates next week.

“The supply side shortages have faded. The reopening boost to growth has run its course. The Fed will be less worried about the rise in prices,” Dr Oliver added.