The ASX racked up its fourth straight day of gains and is on track for its fifth consecutive week in the green, with resources stocks among the winners.
The Australian sharemarket continued its winning streak for a fourth straight day and is just a few points shy of where it started the year, with resources stocks among the gains.
The S&P/ASX200 closed 0.28 per cent higher at 6634 while the All Ordinaries Index rose 0.26 per cent to 6865, putting the market on track for its fifth consecutive week of gains.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 dipped after it was reported Pfizer expected to ship only half of the COVID-19 vaccines it originally planned for this year due to supply-chain problems related to the need to keep them extremely cold at -70C. That compares to Moderna’s vaccine only needing -20C.
Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said nobody was surprised that “there are not enough subarctic temperature shipping containers instantly available to make good on their 2020 delivery channel commitment”.
Energy stocks rose after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to increase production by 500,000 barrels from January in anticipation of increased demand driven by positive vaccine developments. It will hold monthly meetings to review prices and decide on output policies.
Woodside Petroleum put on 0.66 per cent to $23, Origin Energy lifted 0.77 per cent to $5.22 and Oil Search was up 0.27 per cent at $3.75.
After rocketing 13 per cent on Thursday on the back of a seven-year high for iron ore prices, Fortescue softened 0.19 per cent to $20.61 but Rio Tinto added 0.89 per cent to $113.20 while BHP appreciated 0.61 per cent to $41.50.
Construction and engineering company CIMIC Group inched 0.37 per cent lower to $26.67, despite announcing it had won more than $112 million worth of utilities contracts, including the installation of a Tesla battery at a substation in Sydney’s west.
Regis Healthcare was steady at $1.85 after issuing a letter to shareholders explaining why it had rejected two unsolicited takeover offers, including from Washington H Soul Pattinson, which is best known for its pharmacies. Regis said the offers did not offer fair value for the company.
Intelligence software company Nuix made a stellar ASX debut, closing at $8.01 compared to an issue price of $5.31.
Online retailer Booktopia jumped 7.35 per cent to $2.92 after a strong listing on Thursday.
Treasury Wine Estates gained ground for a third straight day after being hammered by news late last week of China’s massive tariffs on Australian wine imports, rising 3.65 per cent to $9.08.
ANZ advanced 1.26 per cent to $23.30, Commonwealth Bank appreciated 0.78 per cent to $80.18, National Australia Bank was up 0.7 per cent at $23.13 and Westpac firmed 0.35 per cent to $20.27.
The Aussie dollar was fetching 74.28 US cents, 55.22 British pence and 61.15 Euro cents in afternoon trade.