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ASX closes 0.9% higher: Tech sector surges

Australian shares surged on Tuesday, driven by a strong performance on Wall Street and the best monthly retail sales report in two years.

The S&P/ASX index closed 0.9% higher, marking its largest rise of the year and nearing its 2021 historical peak.

The tech sector led the gains, influenced by the Nasdaq’s strength, with companies like Block, Tyro Payments, and Zip seeing significant increases. Additionally, mining company Alumina outperformed, rising 7.7% due to plans to halt alumina production at its Western Australia Kwinana plant. Energy was the only sector that declined, while major banks and consumer discretionary stocks also performed well ahead of an expected drop in inflation rates and potential rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 53 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 4.75 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 20 points.

The SPI futures are up 65 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 2.04 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Energy, down 0.01 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was ResMed (ASX:RMD), closing 5.64 per cent higher at $26.41. It was followed by shares in South32 (ASX:S32) and Xero (ASX:XRO).

The worst-performing large cap was Suncorp Group (ASX:SUN), closing 1.44 per cent lower at $13.72. It was followed by shares in IGO (ASX:IGO) and The Lottery Corporation (ASX:TLC).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 1.09 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.30 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.11 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,039.20 an ounce.

Iron ore is 0.3 per cent lower

Light crude is trading $0.06 higher at US$70.83 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 67.11 US cents.