Better-than-expected jobs numbers were followed by a turnaround for ASX, which closed higher, but an industry analyst believes investors took their buying example elsewhere.
The benchmark S & P / ASX200 closed up 16.1 points, or 0.25%, at 6,547.2 on Thursday.
All Ordinaries closed 16.2 points higher, or 0.24 percent, at 6,742.7.
ASX was lower at first, but climbed after October, employment figures showed a massive increase in jobs with the easing of restrictions on COVID-19, mainly in Victoria.
The number of people employed rose by 178,800, exceeding economists’ expectations of a drop of 30,000.
However, the unemployment rate fell from 6.9% to 7%.
While some attributed the ASX rise to jobs data, Deep Data Analytics chief executive Mathan Somasundaram was not convinced.
He found the scale of the jobs difficult to understand.
“I don’t think the market took it seriously. I would expect the employment situation to worsen before it improves, ”he said.
Many experts have said the unemployment rate will rise as government support programs like JobKeeper are reinstated.
Mr Somasundaram said investors bought Australian banks to benefit from a weaker US dollar.
“The main reason for the market rally was the currency,” he said.
“We’ve had a weak US dollar, and global investors will be chasing a higher dollar around the world.”
The Australian dollar bought more than 72.90 US cents for most of the session.
The finance and information technology sectors were the best, up 1.19%.
Meanwhile, South Australians were living their first day of six under stay-at-home orders due to a coronavirus cluster in Adelaide.
No new infections were recorded in South Africa on Thursday, but 17 more people are believed to have the disease.
On the ASX, the big banks all grew by more than one percent. ANZ climbed 2% to $ 22.45, the Commonwealth gained 1.7% to $ 78.87, NAB rose 1.84% to $ 22.70 and Westpac jumped 2.31% to 19 , $ 90.
Insurers were a bane to the financial sector. They denounced a court decision according to which companies paralyzed by the pandemic should receive compensation.
A decision by the NSW Court of Appeal that insurers could not deny coronavirus claims for business interruption insurance created the possibility of huge payouts.
Before the market opened, IAG suspended trading in its shares.
The company said it would assess the financial impact of the judgment.
QBE shares closed down 3.94% at $ 10.00.
Suncorp shares fell 2.98% to $ 9.43.
The Goodman real estate group held its annual general meeting and told investors it was on track to deliver a 9% increase in earnings per share for this fiscal year.
General manager Gregory Goodman said about 98% of his properties were occupied and customer demand was constant.
The shares closed up 0.48% at $ 18.68.
In mining, BlueScope gained 5.29% to $ 17.72 after raising its guidance for first-half operating profit to around $ 475 million.
This was an increase of about 80 percent over the same measure for the second half of the previous fiscal year.
Rio Tinto was the best of the big three miners, and closed 0.82% higher at $ 98.92.
The Australian dollar was buying 72.86 US cents at 1720 AEDT, compared to 72.95 US cents at Wednesday’s close.
* The benchmark S & P / ASX200 closed up 16.1 points, or 0.25%, at 6,547.2 on Thursday.
* All Ordinaries closed 16.2 points higher, or 0.24 percent, at 6,742.7.
* At 1720 AEDT, the SPI200 Futures Index was six points, or 0.09 percent, higher at 6544.
An Australian dollar buys:
* 72.86 US cents, from 72.94 US cents Wednesday
* 75.66 Japanese yen, from 75.86 yen
* 61.49 euro cents, from 61.43 cents
* 55.07 British pence, from 54.99 pence
* 105.58 cents NZ, from 105.74 cents.