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Australian shares rally for a third consecutive day

Australian stocks have extended their rally for a third day, taking their lead from US markets overnight with the S&P/ASX trading up 0.17% at 7,716 at midday.

A softening in the RBA’s rhetoric from yesterday’s policy meeting around the likelihood of further rate rises helped to underpin the domestic market in early trading.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 18 points.

From a sector perspective, the best performing sector at midday was Energy which was up 0.90% after oil prices climbed to multi month highs. The worst-performing sector is Consumer Staples, down 0.27 per cent.

In Company news packaging giant Amcor fell 4 per cent after chief executive, Ronald Delia, announced his retirement for health reasons. Gold miner Perseus dropped 3.8 per cent after lifting its offer for Tanzanian explorer OreCorp. Australian miner South32 dropped 2.2 per cent after it withdrew its Australian manganese output guidance due to cyclone damage at its Groote Eylandt port. Sonic Healthcare announced plans to buy Swiss-based Dr Risch laboratory group for A$202 million in cash & shares.

BHP, RIO and FMG were all trading higher after another upward move in iron ore prices overnight.

The best-performing large cap is GQG Partners Inc (ASX:GQG), trading 2.37 per cent higher at $2.16. It is followed by shares in REA Group (ASX:REA) and Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC).

The worst-performing large cap is Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY), trading 5.65 per cent lower at $6.18. It is followed by shares in Amcor (ASX:AMC) and South32 (ASX:S32).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2180.80 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.5 per cent higher at US$107.90 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.53 per cent gain.
One Australian dollar is buying 65.23 US cents.