There is truly enough to discuss in Australia these days and hours.

The sometimes brutal ban on going out for the whole country - the economic metropolis Melbourne was sealed off for 256 days - came to an end last week, but the number of corona cases is still at a high level.

The government is winding its way towards a new emissions policy ahead of the international climate conference COP26 in Glasgow.

International air traffic should finally be resumed before Christmas.

With so much new in the Australian spring, the stock market takes a back seat.

Christoph Hein

Business correspondent for South Asia / Pacific based in Singapore.

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Wrong, as he has meant well with investors for the most part over the past few months.

Last Friday, the stocks included in the S&P ASX 200 benchmark index went out of trading at their highest level in the past five weeks.

Technology and financial stocks rose, as did REITs, which reflect real estate developments.

The index gained 0.7 percent to 7415.5 points last week.

The banks are long-running down under. Commonwealth Bank shares rose 2.5 percent last week, Westpac shares rose 1.4 percent, National Australia Bank shares rose 0.7 percent, and Australia New Zealand Banking Corp shares improved by another 1.2 percent in value. As is so often the case, however, the quartet is overshadowed by the investment bank Macquarie Group: The share price of the “Factory of Millionaires” gained 5 percent to a closing price of 199.06 Australian dollars. Macquarie benefits like no other institution from fees from the flourishing takeover business, which groans under high prices, but is driven by cheap money.

Despite the price level and increasingly less profitable takeover targets, there is no end to it. For example, Aristocrat Leisure offers 3.9 billion Australian dollars (2.5 billion euros) for Playtech. The premium on the company value of one of the world's largest suppliers of online betting, listed on the London Stock Exchange, is 58 percent - but shareholders hope that a powerful group will be forged with better access to the important American market. Aristocrat already has a market capitalization of 29 billion Australian dollars.

Australia is of course still strong when it comes to natural resources. In the past few months, ore and coal companies had earned a golden nose. The courses increased accordingly. They also won on Monday after prices for natural resources rose slightly in London. In the medium term, however, they will be hit by two ends: the climate debate with its as yet unforeseeable restrictions on business activities by corporations and an impending flattening of demand from China and thus likely falling prices.

The courses couldn't hide that last week. The share price of Whitehaven Coal lost a whopping 11.1 percent, the Woodside Petroleum share fell 7.6 percent despite the acquisition of the BHP divisions, and the shares of the oil companies Santos and Oil Search were quoted a good 4 percent weaker. The big names in the industry also gave up: BHP shares lost 3.1 percent, shares in Rio Tinto fell by as much as 4.6 percent. While Rio has just promised to bow to the climate demands more quickly and thus respond to shareholder requests, BHP is currently considered to be well managed, forward-looking and muscular - the group should be able to put up with lower prices.

On Monday they both won clearly. Anyone who has a green heart for the future should take a close look at the Fortescue Metals Group (FMG). Of course, the Perth company makes its money selling ore to China. Founding billionaire Andrew Forrest has put a second ace up his sleeve. With great strength he is building a global group for sustainable energy out of the ground. If he succeeds in founding the group, the value of the group could multiply in the long term. Last week, however, the price of the FMG share initially fell by 2 percent. Oil giant Woodside Petroleum is marching in the same direction. On Monday he announced that he would build his second hydrogen factory, valued at around one billion Australian dollars, near Perth.

Beyond all Australian hopes, however, the market remains dependent on the mood in New York.

The central bank's warning there of rising inflation will weigh on record exchange rates at some point.

Then the soaring Australian stock market will also end.

It takes optimism to read the current prices as clear buy prices.

Everyone else is speculating on the long-running property in these spring days.

Or go to the beach district of Bondi Beach in Sydney, enjoy spring, the end of the curfew and buy yourself a decent dinner for your dividends, if not an apartment.

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