Australia’s main stock market index climbed to rarely seen heights of 7,000 points – unseen since before the coronavirus crash.
The S & P / ASX200 benchmark index climbed to 7012.4 just after 9:30 am before falling back to 6993.20 at noon.
The all-time high for the ASX200 is 7197.2, set on February 20 last year, a few days before investors started trading heavily as the pandemic develops.
All common indices rose 66.2 points, or 0.92 percent, to 7243.6 points at noon.
Almost all sectors were higher. The largest financial and material companies did well, rising 1.4 percent and 1.06 percent, respectively.
The small telecommunications sector saw the best performance with an increase of 1.45%.
US markets have remained largely unchanged since the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its last meeting, which strengthened the central bank’s position to remain patient with rate hikes.
Fed officials said it will likely take some time to make significant progress towards the targets of maximum employment and stable prices.
The S&P 500 index rose 6.01 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4079.95 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose the same percentage to 33,446.26. The Nasdaq fell 9.54 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,688.84 points.
In Australia, ASIC regulator sues Westpac, claiming to provide consumer loan insurance to clients who did not ask for it.
The ASIC wants Westpac to be fined for selling products to hundreds of customers within three months of 2015. The bank has yet to say whether it will defend the claims.
The stock rose 1.69% to $ 25.26.
Westpac was the best of the four big banks, while Bendigo rose 1.78% to $ 10.29.
In mining HP rose 1.87% to $ 46.74, Fortescue was up 1.51 percent to $ 20.79 and Rio Tinto it improved 1.49 percent to $ 115.14.
Investors in Westfield-owner Scentre Group dealt the first blow to executive wages after executives suffered a full year loss and cut their ultimate dividend.
Investors attending the company’s AGM cast 51 percent of the vote against executive compensation following the pandemic of results. The underlying securities rose 0.86% to $ 2.91.
Market giant CSL rose 0.54% to $ 264.42.
In technology Afterpay it improved 1.5 percent to $ 120.26.
The Australian dollar was trading at 76.10 cents at 10 am, down from 76.46 cents at Wednesday’s close.