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Frantic late rally sees sharemarket post its best-ever rise in a day

Business

The Australian share market has rallied hard in its final minutes for its best day ever after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the government’s fiscal stimulus measures.

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The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index gained 163.1 points in the final 24 minutes of trade to finish Monday up 399 points, or 7.0 per cent, to 5,181.4 points.

The All Ordinaries index rose 319.8  points, or 6.56 per cent, to 5,194.

The Australian dollar was buying 61.45 US cents, up from 61.08 US cents as the market closed on Friday.

It follows a volatile period for global share markets in which the US market has gone from bull market to bear market and back again in the space of a fortnight.

The US market is expected to fall again when it opens tonight with the stock-index futures falling as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths continues to rise above 100,000.

Among the Australian Government’s interventions was a ruling that foreign buyers will now be forced to meet tougher tests if they try to take over an Australian company.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg cut the takeover threshold from $1.2 billion to zero, allowing any predatory takeover to be squashed by the Government.

Among market announcements this morning was Bank of Queensland’s decision to withdraw its profit guidance and would no longer seek approval from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority for an exemption in relation to the 12-month profits test for an interim dividend.

But a worrying sign of the energy market, US crude oil prices are threatening to fall below $US20 a barrel and Brent crude has fallen by more than 65 per cent since the start of the year.

Energy stocks took a pounding because of the fall which was caused not only by the Saudi-Russian standoff over oil supply but also a dramatic fall in demand because of the coronavirus.

Ansell was one of the positive stocks after it announced a big demand for some of its products such as surgical gloves. Its shares were up about 20 per cent in morning trade.

Redhill Education announced the latest in a long list of company stand-downs. It said it would stand down 235 permanent and casual employees, which will reduce costs by about $2.6 million in the fourth quarter.

 

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