Australian Market Rises

The Australian stock market is rising on Thursday following the overnight rally on Wall Street amid optimism that some of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic are flattening the infection curve and that governments will roll out additional stimulus measures.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 88.50 points or 1.70 percent to 5,295.40, after rising to a high of 5,320.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 90.80 points or 1.73 percent to 5,349.60. Australian stocks closed lower on Wednesday in a volatile session.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking and National Australia Bank are rising more than 2 percent each, while Westpac is advancing almost 2 percent and Commonwealth Bank is adding more than 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Oil Search and Santos are rising more than 2 percent each and Woodside Petroleum is advancing more than 1 percent after crude oil prices gained more than 6 percent overnight.

In the mining space, Fortescue Metals is higher by more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is adding 0.4 percent, while BHP is down 0.1 percent.

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining is lower by more than 2 percent and Evolution Mining is declining almost 1 percent after safe-haven gold prices settled flat overnight.

CSL's shares are higher by almost 2 percent after the company affirmed its full-year profit guidance, ahead of a coronavirus update to investors. However, the biotechnology giant noted that plasma collection from its centers in the U.S. presents a challenge due to movement restrictions.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Thursday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6237, compared to $0.6132 on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks rallied on Wednesday amid optimism that some of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic are flattening the infection curve. Data from Johns Hopkins University showed the number of new cases in the U.S. has decreased in recent days after reaching a peak last Friday. Further buying interest was generated in reaction to news Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Dow soared 779.71 points or 3.4 percent to 23,433.57, the Nasdaq surged up 203.64 points or 2.6 percent to 8,090.90 and the S&P 500 spiked 90.57 points or 3.4 percent to 2,749.98.

The major European markets closed mixed on Wednesday. While the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday, rebounding from losses in previous session, ahead of the crucial meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the group's allies on Thursday. WTI crude for May delivery jumped $1.46 or about 6.2 percent to $25.09 a barrel. 

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