Sept 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Friday, helped
by mining stocks after aluminium prices hit multi-year highs,
with investors also cheering exiting of COVID-19 lockdowns in
most regions in the state of Victoria.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.71% to 7,422.1 by 0020
Majority of regions in Victoria exited lockdown on Friday,
even as the state reported its biggest single-day rise in
COVID-19 cases this year.
Officials have also announced plans to bring Melbourne and
Sydney out of extended lockdowns in the coming weeks.
The top percentage gainers on the benchmark index were
Alumina Ltd, up 5.85%, as aluminium prices hit a more
than 13-year high on Thursday. Output curbs in top consumer
China and fears of disruption from major bauxite producer Guinea
have boosted prices.
The ASX 300 metals and mining index was up 1.18%,
with Alumina being the top gainer.
The top percentage loser on the benchmark was Omni Bridgeway
Ltd, down 3.77%. The litigation funding group extended
losses after the Supreme Court found Seqwater found not liable
in Brisbane floods class action on Thursday.
A jump in bullion prices pushed the local gold index
1.02% higher, with gains led by Wiluna Mining Corporation Ltd
, up 5.05%, followed by Ora Banda Mining Ltd,
Financial stocks rose 0.91%, led by Zip Co Ltd
, up 2.84%, followed by Challenger Ltd, gaining
The energy index rose 0.64%, even as oil prices fell
to a two-week low after China rolled out a plan to release state
oil reserves. Leading the gains was Whitehaven Coal, up
2.04%, followed by Beach Energy Ltd, climbing 1.98%.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
0.15% to 13,115.
Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.56% at 30175.08
while S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 3.25 points, or
(Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; editing by