Banks, miners and health stocks propel ASX sharply higher

Woodside Petroleum led the gains with an increase of 2.7 per cent to $34.36.

Financials also rallied 1.4 per cent. Investment managers Pinnacle Investments and Janus Henderson were standout performers, the former surging 11.2 per cent to $5.57 with the latter jumping 7.1 per cent to $41.16.

The healthcare sector closed at a record high, gaining 1.3 per cent. Heavyweight CSL did much of the heavy lifting, closing at fresh high of $320.62, up 1.6 per cent for the session.

Materials also climbed 1.2 per cent on the back of firmer commodity prices. BHP gained 1.7 per cent to $39.54 while Rio Tinto rose by a smaller 0.7 per cent to $99.14. Lynas Corporation jumped 4.6 per cent to $2.27.

Building materials suppliers Adelaide Brighton, Boral and CSR also rallied following upgrades from investment bank UBS. CSR led the charge higher, lifting 4.4 per cent to $5.01.

Outside of the investment managers, rural conglomerate Elders was the other notable gainer for the session, jumping 6.2 per cent to $8.31 as rain fell across large parts of drought-ravaged eastern Australia.

At the other end of the spectrum, Service Stream slumped 9.1 per cent to $2.50 following its first half profit update. Pilbara Minerals, one of the star performers on Wednesday, fell sharply to close down 5.8 per cent to $0.325.


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