The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Friday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving above the 6,700 level, following the broadly positive cues overnight from global markets, boosted by gains in materials and energy stocks amid a rebound in commodity prices. Technology stocks are also supporting the market.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 53.40 points or 0.80 percent to 6,701.40, after touching a high of 6,709.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 62.20 points or 0.91 percent to 6,899.10. Australian markets ended significantly higher on Thursday.
Among major miners, Rio Tinto is gaining almost 3 percent, BHP Group is up more than 2 percent, OZ Minerals is advancing more than 4 percent, Mineral Resources is surging more than 6 percent and Fortescue Metals are adding more than 3 percent.
Oil stocks are higher. Origin Energy is gaining almost 2 percent, Woodside Energy is advancing almost 4 percent, Santos is adding more than 3 percent and Beach energy is surging more than 4 percent.
Among tech stocks, WiseTech Global is down almost 1 percent and Appen is edging down 0.2 percent, while Xero is gaining more than 1 percent, Zip is surging almost 4 percent and Afterpay owner Block is adding almost 2 percent.
Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.3 percent, while National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are edging down 0.1 percent each. Westpac is flat.
Gold miners are mostly higher. Northern Star Resources and Evolution Mining are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Gold Road Resources and Resolute Mining are adding more than 2 percent each. Newcrest Mining is up more than 1 percent. St. Barbara is surging almost 7 percent after it achieved its gold production guidance for fiscal 2022.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.686 on Friday.
On Wall Street, stocks rallied sharply on Thursday, extending recent gains, as investors indulged in some strong buying in several sectors amid hopes the central bank would gradually start lightening its policy stance later this year. The minutes from the Federal Reserve's June meeting, released on Wednesday, said the members of the central bank said there would be another 50 or 75-basis point move in the July meeting.
The major averages all ended the session with strong gains. The Dow ended with a gain of 346.87 points or 1.12 percent at 31,384.55 and the S&P 500 advanced 57.54 points or 1.5 percent to 3,902.62, while the Nasdaq climbed 259.49 points or 2.28 percent to settle at 11,621.35.
The major European markets closed on a buoyant note on Thursday, extending gains from the previous session. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 1.14 percent, Germany's DAX surged 1.97 percent, and France's CAC 40 spurted 1.6 percent.
Crude oil futures settled higher on Thursday, regaining ground after two days of losses. Data showing a decline in gasoline supply last week, and the dollar's weakness supported oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended higher by $4.20 or 4.3 percent at $102.73 a barrel.