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Australian stock market jumps 3.5 per cent as investors pin hopes on major banks

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Australian shares have risen strongly as coronavirus volatility continues to swing the market.

Australia's share market has closed up almost 4 per cent, driven by large gains by energy and financial stocks.

At the close of trade the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was up 3.58 per cent or 181.8 points to a total of 5258 points.

Since the market's high point on February 20, the ASX 200 has lost more than 26 per cent of value, wiping billions from the economy.

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At 11.30am AEDT, the RBA released minutes from its ad hoc meeting a fortnight ago, where it launched emergency stimulus measures.

The minutes showed board members thought it was probable the coronavirus crisis would result in at least two back-to-back quarters of economic contraction.

That's the technical definition of a recession, even if the RBA didn't use the word.

But all sectors were still well in the black a half-hour later, with energy stocks leading the way, collectively up 8.1 per cent as the price of oil price rose 1.2 per cent to US$26 a barrel.

Woodside Petroleum lifted 8.8 per cent to $19.82, Origin gained 6.9 per cent to $4.68, Oil Search rose 16.0 per cent to $2.76 and Santos was up 8.8 per cent to $3.72.

Energy companies had been smashed throughout March due to the coronavirus pandemic and the eruption of an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Property stocks were another strong performer, up 4.2 per cent as Scentre Group rose 11.5 per cent and Vicinity Centres gained 10.6 per cent.

All of the big banks were up at midday, with CBA rising 2.4 per cent and Westpac, ANZ and NAB ahead by between 1.0 and 1.5 per cent.

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The Australian dollar was buying 61.22 US cents, down from 61.90 US cents as the market closed yesterday.

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Source: 9News

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