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ASX soars as banks surge

ASX gains on lockdown lift. Source: Getty

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 (^AXJO) has continued its upward trajectory, gaining 2.32 per cent at midday, as bank stocks continue to surge.

The broader All Ordinaries index (^AORD) had also gained 2.24 per cent at 12.09 AEST.

NAB leapt 4.91 per cent to $18.82, Commonwealth Bank was up 2.78 per cent to $66.09 and Westpac was higher by 3.98 per cent to $18.31. Macquarie Bank rose 3.15 per cent to $114.44.

What happened this morning?

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 (^AXJO) gained 1.58 per cent at the open, after US investors were buoyed by the continued easing of lockdown restrictions. 

The broader All Ordinaries index (^AORD) also gained 1.55 per cent at 10.24 AEST, after finishing in the red on Wednesday.

This morning, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe will appear before the Senate Select Committee, where he will discuss the economic implications of restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Businesses' capital spending data from the first quarter of the year will also be published today.

One Australian dollar was buying 66.27 US cents at 10.07 AEST, down from 66.44 US cents last night.

What happened in the US?

Wall Street’s major index, the S&P 500 closed above 3000 points for the first time since March 5, as investor sentiment turned positive on eased lockdown, optimism about an eventual Covid-19 vaccine and a massive US stimulus. 

However, US-China tensions are still in the back of investors’ minds, after US President Donmald Trump said on Tuesday that Washington would announce its response to China's planned national security legislation on Hong Kong before the end of the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 553.16 points, or 2.21 per cent, to 25,548.27, the S&P 500 gained 44.36 points, or 1.48 per cent, to 3,036.13, and the Nasdaq Composite added 72.14 points, or 0.77 per cent, to 9,412.36.

With AAP. 

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