ASX closes higher as resources gain

 smh.com.au  07/11/2019 06:40:16  2

"Central banks have turned decisively dovish to fend off a downturn, extending the long economic expansion and pushing down yields," said BlackRock Investment Institute chief APAC investment strategist Ben Powell.

"The dovish central bank pivot supports equities, but we are less positive on countries exposed to rising trade tensions or any lull in China's growth."

Whitehaven Coal shares rose firmly on Thursday after reporting it had received better than expected prices for its thermal coal in the three months to June 30, softening the blow from weaker than expected sales volumes. Its shares advanced 4.9 per cent to $3.83.

Gold miners advanced after the price of the precious metal hit a one-week high following Mr Powell's testimony. Newcrest Mining rose 2.1 per cent to $32.15, Northern Star Resources added 2 per cent to $11.88, Regis Resources advanced 4.2 per cent to $5.73, Saracen Mineral Holdings closed 4.7 per cent higher at $3.79 and St Barbara climbed 2.9 per cent to $3.22.

Resolute Mining soared particularly after being upgraded to 'buy' by Goldman Sachs, who also increased its price target on the miner by 28 per cent. Its shares closed Thursday's trade 9.8 per cent higher at $1.52.

Energy stocks were also stronger after oil prices soared following a greater than expected drawdown in US crude inventories. A number of US oil rigs have also shut down in the Gulf of Mexico as a hurricane bears down on the area while tensions in Iran continue to threaten supply from the Middle East.

Santos advanced 1.2 per cent to $6.93, Oil Search climbed 2.9 per cent to $7.15 and Cooper Energy added 8.7 per cent to close the session at 56�.

Sims Metal Management slid 3.9 per cent to $10.22 after it was downgraded to neutral by JPMorgan who said "operating conditions remain challenged with no reprieve expected in the near term."

Michael Hill shares fell 8.8 per cent to 52� after the company flagged a hit to its profits on Thursday. The jeweller is expecting $10 million to $25 million to be wiped from its profits in 2020 due to a remediation program after discovering it had been underpaying staff for six years following a review.

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