Aust shares rally as reopening picks up

Steven DeareAAP
Technology and materials shares led a higher ASX.
Camera IconTechnology and materials shares led a higher ASX. Credit: AAP

The reopening trade gathered pace on the Australian share market after NSW scrapped quarantine and Qantas fast-tracked overseas flights.

A broad-based rally on Friday was helped by substantial gains for travel shares after NSW allowed quarantine-free international travel from November.

Qantas will restart overseas flights on the same day to take advantage of vaccinated Australians desperate to go abroad.

Shares in the airline closed up almost two per cent to $5.69. The carrier is also selling Sydney land for $802 million to reduce debt.

Plenty of travel shares surged. There were gains of more than six per cent for Regional Express and Helloworld Travel.

The loosening of coronavirus restrictions in the ACT and NSW this week will soon be followed for people in Victoria.

That should mean better trade for many ASX companies, not all of them travel operators.

ThinkMarkets analyst Carl Capolingua named and mortgage brokers Australian Finance Group as others which may benefit from people having more freedom.

"It's anything where you need people to get out and about doing things," he said of the beneficiaries.

Woolworths spinoff and pub operator Endeavour Group was another, as was cinema operator Event Hospitality.

Mr Capolingua said Event shares were reasonably priced and the company had not needed to raise as much money as others during the pandemic.

He warned that the travel operators' earlier share sales may have diluted the earnings pool for investors.

"Because there are more shares, each person has a smaller proportion of profit," he said.

"But some people are looking past the dip in earnings to the other side where hopefully there will be a boom."

Technology and materials shares were the best performers in the latest session.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 50.3 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 7362.

The All Ordinaries ended up 54 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 7674.2.

The market gained 0.57 per cent in a second consecutive week of improvement.

Overseas, US third-quarter earnings will continue to sway markets for the next few weeks.

China's economic growth figures for the September quarter will be published next week.

In company news, corporate regulator ASIC started court action against insurer IAG.

IAG in 2019 found it did not give full discounts to customers in earlier years and began refunding them.

ASIC is seeking fines and said IAG has broken laws.

Shares were down 3.15 per cent to $4.92.

Mining giant Rio Tinto lowered forecasts for iron ore exports.

In its third quarter production report the company said there had been delays to new mines in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Shares were down 0.91 per cent to $99.60.

BHP rose by 2.8 per cent while Fortescue gained almost two per cent.

In banking, ANZ was the standout of the big four. It rose 1.05 per cent to $27.87. The others were up by less than half a per cent.

Treasury Wine Estate leaders said sales of luxury products in the first quarter were slightly behind expectations.

Coronavirus restrictions in the US and Australia have hampered sales.

Shares were down 5.37 per cent to $11.63.

The Australian dollar was buying 74.24 US cents at 1727 AEDT, lower from 73.86 US cents at Thursday's close.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed higher by 50.3 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 7362 on Friday.

* The All Ordinaries ended up 54 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 7674.2.

* At 1727 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was down four points, or 0.05 per cent, at 7329 points.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 74.24 US cents, from 73.86 cents on Thursday

* 84.66 Japanese yen, from 83.88 yen

* 63.95 Euro cents, from 63.74 cents

* 54.27 British pence, from 54.05 pence

* 105.23 NZ cents, from 105.86 cents.

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