Australian shares rallied by 1.09 per cent during mid-afternoon trading, boosted by a strong performance on Wall Street and the best monthly retail sales report in three years. Key gainers included Zip, Block, and Megaport, while major banks and some mining companies also advanced. The energy sector was the only one in decline, albeit slightly.
In economic news, Australian retail trade saw a 2 per cent increase in November, surpassing expectations of 1.2 per cent. However, analysts cautioned that this might be due to Christmas pre-buying. Year-on-year, November's retail sales rose by 2.2 per cent, the largest monthly change since November 2021. The Reserve Bank of Australia is watching for signs of an economic slowdown to control inflation. Building approvals unexpectedly increased by 1.6 per cent in November.
In corporate news, Worley shares were halted amid allegations of "illegality and bad faith" by an Ecuadorean tribunal. Alumina shares were also suspended due to reports of production curtailment at Alcoa's Kwinana refiner.