ASX 200 surges 2.44%: banks & miners rise, AUD/USD passes 70 cents

ASX-listed bank and energy stocks rose on Tuesday, CSL continues to come under pressure, and the Australian dollar at one point traded above the 70-cent mark.

ASX 200 soars past the 6,000 point level

The Australia 200 played catch up today – climbing 146 points or 2.44%, to 6,144 points – following the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and a strong lead from Wall Street overnight.

Financials, Energy and Materials were some of the strongest performing sectors on Tuesday; while healthcare and information technology lags.

On a more granular level, the big four banks continued to rebound from the lows they recorded in March, with CBA rising 5.05%, ANZ gaining 6.22%, NAB climbing 5.08% and WBC adding 5.80%.

Besides the big four, key ASX-listed energy stocks also rose strongly during today’s session, with Santos rising 7.2%, Woodside Petroleum adding 5.52%, while Oil Search saw its share price increase 4.19%.

CSL falls despite acquisition announcement

Though bank and energy stocks rose on Tuesday, CSL – Australia's largest listed company – continued to come under pressure from investors, closing out the session down 2.39% to $278.5 per share.

This comes after the company today announced that it would be acquiring the clinical-stage biotech Vitaris, with CSL’s Head of R&D Bill Mezzanotte saying 'Acquiring Vitaeris and their associate expertise helps us to continue to grow our strategic scientific platform of recombinant proteins and antibodies.'

CSL's management described the cost of the acquisition as 'modest.'

Iron ore continues its ascension, AUD/USD passes 0.70

On Monday, the September iron ore futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) – the most traded contract, finished out the session at 783 yuan per tonne, or ~US$110.71 per tonne, at the current exchange rate.

For reference, the front month iron ore contract on the DCE closed out the last session at 796.5 yaun per tonne.

This bullish price action comes after a Brazilian court on Saturday ruled that Brazilian iron ore giant Vale – would have to shut down a number of its mines due to escalating coronavirus (Covid-19) concerns.

As Reuters reported:

‘Prosecutors had alleged that workers were at risk at the mine complex, known as Itabira in the state of Minas Gerais, after 188 of them tested positive for the coronavirus.’

This move will take around 10% of Vale’s iron ore output offline, also according to Reuters. Interestingly, Vale, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, saw its share price gain 1.99% on Monday, to close out the session at US$11.27 per share.

Unsurprisingly however, when the ASX reopened on Tuesday, Australia’s big three iron ore miners – which have proven relatively immune to the impacts of the coronavirus – saw their share prices rise.

Of the three, BHP Group was the best performing, with its stock gaining 3.61%, followed by Rio Tinto (+2.81%) and Fortescue Metals Group (+2.27%).

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar – the AUD/USD – continued to trade bullishly, hitting an intraday high of 0.7432. This marks a resounding recovery from the Australia dollar’s March low, where it hit a low of 0.5512.

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