The Australian stock market is advancing on Tuesday in the absence of fresh cues from Wall Street, which was closed overnight for a holiday, as investors digested production results from mining giant Rio Tinto.
Investors now look ahead to comments from Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen on U.S. stimulus at the Senate confirmation hearing later today, with her prepared remarks calling on the federal government to “act big”.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 69.00 points or 1.04 percent to 6,732.00, just off a high of 6,733.20. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 68.10 points or 0.98 percent to 7,003.50. Australia stocks closed lower on Monday.
Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals is advancing 0.6 percent. Rio Tinto is adding 0.5 percent and BHP Group is up 0.2 percent.
Rio Tinto reported that its fourth-quarter Pilbara iron ore shipments was 88.9 million tons on 100 percent basis, an increase of 2 percent from last year. For the full year, shipments rose 1 percent.
In the banking sector, Westpac is rising more than 2 percent, while ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are higher in a range of 0.9 percent to 1.6 percent.
Tech stocks are also higher. WiseTech Global is gaining more than 3 percent, Appen is advancing almost 2 percent and Afterpay is adding 0.6 percent.
Meanwhile, oil stocks are mostly lower. Santos is declining 0.7 percent and Woodside Petroleum is edging down 0.1 percent, while Oil Search is rising more than 1 percent.
Gold miners are mixed. Newcrest Mining is adding 0.4 percent, while Evolution Mining is unchanged.
Waste management company Bingo Industries Ltd. said it received an unsolicited indicative acquisition proposal of A$3.50 in cash per share from a consortium that comprises buyout firm CPE Capital as well as Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets or MIRA. Bingo said the proposal is considered by an independent board committee of the company. Shares of Bingo are climbing more than 20 percent.
Overnight, the U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The major European markets closed mostly higher on Monday. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.1 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 ended down 0.2 percent.
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