Australia markets closed

ASX marks best finish in 6 weeks

The ASX is higher on Thursday. Image: Getty

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 (^AXJO) has finished Thursday up 50.20 points or 0.84 per cent to 5,991.80 points on Thursday after ceding some of its early gains.

The broader All Ordinaries index (^AORD) also finished up 47.10 points to 6,112.00, a gain of 0.78 per cent.

After cracking through the 6,000 threshold, the ASX200 shrunk back throughout the session. Nevertheless, Thursday’s end result is the strongest since 6 March with the major financials leading the bourse higher.

What happened at midday?

The ASX200 pared back some of its early gains by midday, and is now up a smaller 0.57 per cent at 12:39pm AEST, to 5,975.90 points.

The All Ordinaries also shrunk some of its gains, up 0.53 per cent.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics today shared historically bleak sales figures, showing retail trade plummeted 17.7 per cent in April.

"There were record falls in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-35.4 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-53.6 per cent), as well as a large fall in department stores (-14.9 per cent)," Ben James, director of the ABS quarterly economy-wide surveys said.

What happened this morning?

The ASX200 opened 1.19 per cent higher to 6,012.30 points following a rally on Wall Street on Wednesday night Australian time. 

The All Ordinaries also rose 1.19 per cent, buoyed by fresh US economic data that wasn’t as bleak as expected.

While investors were bracing for 9.3 million private job cuts, new payroll data showed 2.8 million jobs were lost, leading to more optimism.  

What happened overnight?

Wall Street finished higher on Wednesday as the Nasdaq approached record highs, thanks to signs that lockdown restrictions in the US are easing. 

"Risk appetite for equities has been helped by optimism in the economy, as well as investors having few other alternatives," David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York told AAP.

Investors have so far not been weighed down by the violent unrest after the death of George Floyd. 

Investors are now waiting for the US Labor Department’s May Jobs report, expected to see unemployment jump to an incredible 19.7 per cent. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 527.24 points, or 2.05 per cent, to 26,269.89, the S&P 500 gained 42.05 points, or 1.36 per cent, to 3,122.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 74.54 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 9,682.91.

With AAP. 

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