The Australian share market opened in the red but clawed higher, with technology stocks among the winners.
The S&P/ASX200 closed 0.30 per cent firmer at 6129.6 while the All Ordinaries Index gained 0.47 per cent to 6300.3.
Afterpay finished 4.7 per cent stronger at $82.73 after announcing an expansion into Europe through an acquisition.
Other buy now pay later companies were in favour, with Sezzle putting on more than 9 per cent to $8.73.
Another standout performer was plumbing supplies company Reliance Worldwide Corporation, which reported a drop in full year earnings but strong sales growth in the US, sending its shares more than 17 per cent higher to $3.38.
Outdoor advertising firm oOh!media jumped more than 17 per cent to $1.04 despite reporting a sharp drop in revenue, with COVID-19 restrictions causing an unprecedented fall in audiences.
But it pointed to its strengthened financial position and predicted its sector share would inch higher in the next few years.
Health insurer Nib posted a 40 per cent full year profit plunge, shedding 5.82 per cent to $4.53.
AMP chairman David Murray quit, blaming the board’s decision to appoint Boe Pahari chief executive of its wealth business despite a known sexual misconduct allegation in 2017 that he was penalised for. Mr Pahari stepped down from the role and will be demoted to his previous job.
Shareholders applauded, lifting the company’s shares 1.05 per cent to $1.445.
Another major resignation was Tino La Spina departing as chief executive of Qantas International, with the group continuing to reduce the size of its business as COVID-19 grounds international travel.
Shares in the airline dropped 4.36 per cent to $3.73.
The big four banks were all weaker, with ANZ sinking 0.92 per cent to $18.21, Commonwealth Bank shedding 0.98 per cent to $68.95, National Australia Bank dipping 0.62 per cent to $17.54 and Westpac falling 0.7 per cent to $17.11.
Rio Tinto gained 0.19 per cent to $100.90 after three of its top brass, including chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques, were stripped of their bonuses over the destruction of ancient Aboriginal rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
Fellow mining giant BHP added 0.55 per cent to $38.57.
The Aussie dollar was buying 71.74 US cents, 54.76 British pence and 60.79 Euro cents in afternoon trade.
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