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Monday 18

February, 2019 5:11 AM



ASX surges in wake of China-US trade truce

ASX surges in wake of China-US trade truce

Australian shares have surged after a trade truce between China and the US, with energy, mining, and healthcare buoyant.

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By AAP 03.12.2018 05:14 PM

The Australian share market surged higher following a 90-day truce on tariffs between the US and China, with energy and mining stocks recording significant gains.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 104 points, or 1.84 per cent, at 5771.2 on Monday, while the broader All Ordinaries rose 1.86 per cent.

The weekend's trade breakthrough between US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina provided a much-needed kick-start for markets across the region and lifted oil prices.

"The market has generally been just hungry for any sort of good news and any sign that things aren't falling apart in the relationship between the US and China," CommSec chief market analyst Steven Daghlian told AAP.

The energy sector closed more than four-and-a-half per cent higher but Mr Daghlian said it was important to relate the bounce to recent doldrums.

The ASX lost ground for the last three consecutive months and is down about five per cent from where it started the year.

"Keep in mind that energy stocks have been some of the worst performers for an extended period of time," he said.

"They've dropped about 20 per cent in the prior two months."

Santos led gains for energy stocks, up 8.7 per cent to $6.00 after announcing gas from its third and final Bayu Undan well, with the project to deliver under budget and ahead of schedule.

Origin, Oil Search, Woodside, New Hope and White Haven climbed between 3.5 and six per cent.

The minerals sector was nearly three per cent higher with South32 leaping 7.1 per cent to $3.32 after commencing bedrock testing at its Balladonia nickel project in Western Australia.

BlueScope Steel shot nearly 12 per cent higher to $12.55 on launching a new $250 million buyback, Fortescue was up 4.3 per cent, while giants BHP and Rio Tinto were 3.7 and 2.3 per cent higher respectively.

The health care sector was buoyed by benchmark CSL which rose 3.4 per cent to $183.49, while ResMed and Cochlear were both 2.2 per cent higher.

Macquarie lifted the financial sector with a 2.8 per cent gain, but the big four lenders recorded mixed results.

Westpac was strongest, up 1.1 per cent to $26.25, Commonwealth gained 0.5 per cent, but ANZ and NAB were 0.3 and 0.1 per cent weaker.

Consumer staples climbed nearly two per cent despite the continued weakness of Coles and IGA and Foodland supplier Metcash falling more than five per cent after flagging tough times for supermarkets.

The temporary resolution between the US and China also strengthened the Australian dollar to a multi-month peak.

The Aussie was buying 73.65 US cents at 1630 AEDT up from 73.15 on Friday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 104 points, or 1.84 per cent, at 5771.2

* The All Ordinaries was down 107 points, or 1.86 per cent, at 5856.3

* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was up 96 points, or 1.69 per cent, at 5770

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 73.65 US cents, from 73.15 US cents cents on Friday

* 83.63 Japanese yen, from 82.92

* 64.91 euro cents, from 64.20

* 57.68 British pence, from 57.23

* 106.60 NZ cents, from 106.61

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1225.33 per fine ounce, from $US1224.83 on Friday.

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Index: Points Change Percent

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