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Australia Market ends higher
(16:07, 23 Nov 2020)
The Australian share market finished session higher on Monday, 23 November 2020, as lifting of border curbs in the country's two most populous states boosted risk appetite. Most of sectors inclined, with shares in major heavyweight energy and mining firms leading the rally.

At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 added 22.41 points, or 0.34%, to 6,561.59. The broader All Ordinaries rose 32.12 points, or 0.48%, to 6,772.03.

New South Wales and Victoria reopened their borders at midnight after closing them off in early July. The borders were last shut in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic. Reopening of the borders is likely to jump-start air traffic between Melbourne and Sydney.

Mining and energy stocks were the biggest contributors to the market's gains, partly thanks to firmer commodity prices. The price of oil rose by 1% (up 18% this month), iron ore has improved for six straight days (up 10% in November) while gold, nickel and copper also jumped.

The pandemic-hit travel and tourism stocks gained as states rolled back border closures, with Qantas, Sydney Airport and Regional Express all ending in the black.

Village Roadshow (VRL) surged by 16.3% after receiving an increased takeover offer from private equity firm BGH Capital.

Ampol (ALD) jumped by 4.6% after announcing a $300m off-market buy-back which it plans to complete in 1Q21. This follows the completion of a property transaction that generated over $600m in cash for the group.

ECONOMIC NEWS: Australia Manufacturing PMI Expands to 56.1 in November- Australia manufacturing sector continued to expand in November, with a Manufacturing PMI score of 56.1, the latest survey from Markit Economics showed on Monday. That's up from 54.2 in October and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. Production and sales both increased at faster rates. New orders in particular rose at the quickest rate for nearly two years despite a further decline in export sales. The survey also showed that the services index rose to 54.9 from 53.8, while the composite index came in at 54.7 - up from 53.6 a month earlier.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7332 after turbulent trading last week that saw the currency above $0.732 and below $0.729.

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