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Aust shares finish up, ASX200 above 6200

Steven Deare
·4-min read

The ASX200 has started the week higher and finished above 6200 points after plenty of momentum in world markets.

After a good US lead, the S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed higher by 52.6 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 6229.4 on Monday.

The 6200 level has been a psychological barrier for traders. For about four months, the index traded just below that level but last week finished above for the first time since March.

The All Ordinaries index finished better by 50.6 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 6435.6.

Both indices rose early and were higher throughout the session.

There was good news for Victorians after the much-anticipated easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Melburnians can get a haircut, go to an auction and renovate. They can also travel 25km from home.

In regional Victoria, cafes and restaurants have increased capacity.

New South Wales will this week announce the easing of more measures.

Meanwhile investors led by billionaire Andrew Forrest have bought bootmaker RM Williams, returning it to Australian ownership. The company has almost 900 staff in Australia.

Yet Pepperstone chief market strategist Chris Weston cautioned that the ASX result was not due to the local economy.

The US lead, Asian markets doing well and better futures trading were responsible, he said.

"It's what we call a `risk on' day," he said.

"This is not an Australian story. The fact the market is up is not about domestic factors."

Most US markets finished higher on Friday, helped by drug maker Pfizer's comments that it aims to have a coronavirus vaccine soon.

Mr Weston's interest today was China's GDP data.

Gross domestic product grew 4.9 per cent in July-September from a year earlier, but was down on analysts forecast of 5.2 per cent.

Yet Mr Weston was encouraged by other figures. Industrial output grew 6.9 per cent in September from a year earlier, after a 5.6 per cent rise in August. Retail sales grew 3.3 per cent, better than the 0.5 per cent rise in August.

This was good for Aussie investors.

"The China numbers reinforce the idea that demand for certain products is still incredibly high, and we expect them to increase going forward," Mr Weston said.

"They're going to consume our raw materials."

On the ASX, the best sectors were information technology and health, up 1.66 and 1.59 per cent respectively.

All sectors rose except property.

Casino operator Crown Resorts was down 8.23 per cent to $8.25 after financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC said it is investigating possible money laundering at Crown's Melbourne operation.

Crown executives are facing an inquiry by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority into the company's suitability to hold a gaming licence for the new casino in Sydney's CBD.

Artificial intelligence processor vendor Brainchip was up by 19.74 per cent to 45 cents.

ASX staff have queried Brainchip management in recent times over the shares' rapid rise.

The company will give September quarter results on Tuesday.

Among the big four banks, ANZ rose by 1.04 per cent to $19.51, the Commonwealth was up by 1.11 per cent to $70.01, NAB gained 0.94 per cent to $19.40 and Westpac climbed by 0.64 per cent to $18.78.

In mining, BHP was higher by 0.69 per cent to $36.50, Rio was up by 0.12 per cent to $95.56 and Fortescue gained 1.14 per cent to $16.82.

On Tuesday, the RBA will publish minutes of its last board meeting.

The Aussie dollar was buying 70.94 US cents at 1710 AEDT, higher from 70.77 US cents at the close of trade on Friday.

ON THE ASX

* The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed higher by 52.6 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 6229.4 on Monday.

* The All Ordinaries index finished better by 50.6 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 6435.6.

* At 1710 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was even at 6220.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 70.94 US cents, from 70.75 US cents on Friday

* 74.76 Japanese yen, from 74.47 yen

* 60.58 Euro cents, from 60.44 cents

* 54.82 British pence, from 54.89 pence

* 107.13 NZ cents, from 107.32 cents.