Bourse advances as Nvidia propels global shares higher

Jack Quail and Duncan EvansNCA NewsWire
The ASX ended in the green on February 23, 2024, driven by a dramatic surge in Wall St overnight. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
Camera IconThe ASX ended in the green on February 23, 2024, driven by a dramatic surge in Wall St overnight. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia

The Australian stock market edged higher on Friday after a dramatic boom in US technology stocks pushed the tech sector to its highest level since January 2022.

At the closing bell, the benchmark ASX 200 advanced 0.4 per cent, or 32.4 points, to close the week at 7643.6 while the broader All Ordinaries index added a similar amount to 7899.2.

Nine of 11 industry sectors finished in the green, led by tech and consumer discretionary stocks, which added 1.5 per cent. Sector heavyweights Xero added 2.8 per cent to $119.91 and Wesfarmers rose 2.1 per cent to $64.98.

Overnight on Wall Street, stocks powered ahead with the S&P 500 closing at new record high, rising 2.1 per cent to 5087.

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Meanwhile the tech-heavy Nasdaq soared three per cent to a record close at 16,041.6 after chip manufacturer Nvidia surged 16.5 per cent to $785.38 after it reported a blockbuster quarterly result.

Shares also reached record highs in Europe and Japan.

AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said while shares had become “vulnerable” after their surge since last October’s lows, so far any pull backs had been brief and the trend had remained up.

“There are still plenty of possible triggers for a correction in shares – rate cut delays, high geopolitical and recession risks and soft seasonality around this time of year. And the enthusiasm around AI is now getting a bit frothy along with general investor sentiment which leaves shares a bit vulnerable to any bad news,” Dr Oliver said.

“However, we continue to see the broad trend as up for global and Australian shares this year as rates fall and recession is ultimately avoided or if not then its mild.”

In corporate news, Afterpay parent Block vaulted 16.5 per cent to $117.94 on deeper than expected cost cutting measures and a jump in quarterly revenue to $US5.8bn ($8.8bn) trumped analysts’ forecasts.

Budget telecommunications provider Aussie Broadband flew 18.6 per cent higher to $4.53 after posting an increase in home internet subscribers in its six-month earnings report.

The company said half-yearly revenue from ordinary activities surged 17.7 per cent to $445.9m.

Energy sector heavyweight Woodside announced it had inked an agreement to sell a 15.1 per cent stake in its Scarborough liquefied natural gas project to Japanese buyer Jera worth an estimated $2.1bn. Shares closed flat at $30.51.

Brambles hit a record intraday high of $15.90 after the supply chain logistics firm reported an 18 per cent jump in its half-year profit.

However at the close of trading shares were just 0.6 per cent higher at $15.27.

Originally published as Bourse advances as Nvidia propels global shares higher

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