STOCKS SCREECH HIGHER: What you need to know

Photo: Jamie Squire/Allsport

For the third session on the trot, Australia’s stock market screeched higher on Thursday, finishing the day at its session highs.

Here’s the final scoreboard.

  • ASX 200 5242.60 , 109.49 , 2.13%
  • All Ords 5293.30 , 104.21 , 2.01%
  • AUD/USD 0.7164 , 0.0054 , 0.76%

Inspired by a late rally on Wall Street, stocks opened higher and kept going, powered by a stronger iron ore price, renewed takeover activity, buying related to index options expiry and, in all likelihood, a dash of short covering following a steep decline in the index registered in the previous week.

Strength in the Australian dollar, up 0.77% against the US dollar and 0.51% to the Japanese yen, suggests foreign buyers may have contributed to the substantial rally.

Every sector finished with gains of more than 1% with the All Ords gold index, up 4.3%, leading the pack higher. Other notable performances came from consumer staples, resources and financials which finished with gains of 2.74%, 3% and 2.22% respectively.

Putting the day into perspective, utilities underperformed, closing up only 1.34%.

Yes, it was just that kind of session. It didn’t matter what it was, it just pushed higher.

From an individual stock perspective, shares in OzForex jumped 30%, closing the session at $3.38 following an unsolicited, non-binding takeover approach from rival foreign exchange juggernaut Western Union.

BHP Billiton, despite Chinese rebar and iron ore futures hitting all time record lows, closed the session up 3.08% at $20.41 following what was a times a fiery AGM in Perth.

Here’s the top stories this Thursday.

1. As mentioned before, shares in online foreign exchange firm OzForex soared following a takeover approach from rival foreign exchange juggernaut Western Union. They are now trading at the highest level since March 2014.

2. Sydney’s northern beaches, known as “God’s country” by its residents, recorded the lowest unemploiyment rate across the country at 2.5% in October.

3. Chinese iron ore futures were destroyed on Thursday, falling to a fresh record low.

4. The Bank of Japan left monetary policy unchanged at its October meeting, voting 8-1 to maintain the current expansion in the nation’s monetary base by around 800 billion yen per annum.

5. The Australian dollar went vertical in Asia as the reversal of fortune for the US dollar, which began early this morning, continued.

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