Banks, miners help Australian shares notch 13-month closing high



* ASX 200 posts longest winning streak since last December

* BHP, Rio rise more than 2% each on high iron ore prices

* Big Four banks rise more than 1% each (Updates to close)

By Aditya Munjuluru

April 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Thursday to hit their highest close in more than 13 months, supported by big banks and miners, while Greenland Minerals plunged before going into a trading halt.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO settled 1% higher at 6,998.80 after briefly rising above the 7,000 mark for the first time since the COVID-19 sell-off in early last year. It also marked its fifth straight sessions of gains - its longest winning streak since last December.

Expectations that ultra-loose global monetary policies will remain unchanged for some time were boosted by minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's March meeting showing officials were still wary of ongoing risks from the pandemic.

The Reserve Bank of Australia left rates unchanged at record lows on Tuesday, reaffirming continued monetary support to lower unemployment and boost inflation.

Leading gains on the benchmark index, mining giants BHP Group BHP.AX and Rio Tinto RIO.AX rose 2.6% and 2.2%, respectively, on high iron ore prices, while the country's "Big Four" banks climbed more than 1% each.

Greenland Minerals GGG.AX plunged 50% before trading was halted. The drop follows a parliamentary victory for a left-wing party in Greenland that has opposed the minerals explorer's large rare earth mining project.

Afterpay APT.AX extended its longest run of gains this year, closing 1.3% higher on renewed appetite for growth stocks.

Morgan Stanley, traditionally bullish on Afterpay, lowered its price target by A$10, citing risks to merchants fees from the entry of Commonwealth Bank of Australia into the buy-now- pay-later market.

On Thursday, Australia's insurance regulator proposed to limit the exposure of life insurers to offshore reinsurers, given its lack of oversight of foreign players.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 climbed 1.2% to 12,632.6, marking its best finish since mid-March. Among gainers, dairy firm a2 Milk Co ATM.NZ jumped 3.9%.
Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.