(AUSTRALIA) – The stock market saw a notable rise of 1.3 percent on Friday, marking its most robust session since July, thanks to encouraging data from both China and the United States, which bolstered confidence in the global economy’s health.
Miners, spanning various sectors such as gold, lithium, and iron ore, significantly outperformed other industries.
Heavyweights like Rio Tinto, BHP, and Fortescue Metals all surged in response to the six-month high in iron ore prices, reaching nearly $US123 ($190) per tonne.
This price level, based on Singapore-traded futures, hasn’t been seen since April.
Rio Tinto enjoyed a 3 percent increase to $118.90 and posted its most substantial weekly gain since November 2022.
Strong economic data boosts market
BHP Group rose by 3.5 percent to $45.68, while Fortescue climbed by 4 percent to $21.22, marking a remarkable 10 percent surge over the week.
The stock market’s rise was spurred by better-than-expected US economic data released on Thursday.
This momentum carried over into Friday as Chinese data also surpassed expectations, alleviating concerns about the growth prospects of the world’s second-largest economy.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index, the benchmark, gained 92.5 points, reaching 7279, securing a weekly gain of 1.7 percent. The All Ordinaries also saw a 1.3 percent rise on Friday.
Qantas shares experienced a modest 0.4 percent increase, reaching $5.61, despite facing another setback from the competition watchdog.
The ACCC rejected Qantas’s request to form a partnership with China Eastern Airlines, citing concerns that such collaboration would grant the airline excessive pricing power.
Woodside saw a 1.3 percent rise to $38.39, but the company faced further delays in its $16.5 billion Scarborough LNG project in Western Australia. This delay was due to a Federal Court injunction on the project’s seismic survey.
Ramsay Health Care eked out a 0.2 percent gain, reaching $51.61, despite a credit downgrade by Fitch Ratings to BBB- due to elevated debt levels.
On the other hand, wholesale retailer Metcash experienced a 0.5 percent dip, falling to $3.70, following its report of a modest 1.7 percent increase in total group sales, as rising living costs restrained consumer spending.
Gold miner Ramelius Resources enjoyed a substantial 6.1 percent surge after reporting promising results from its Penny mine site.
Alliance Aviation Services also recorded a 0.6 percent gain following a five-year contract extension with BHP Iron Ore.