Happy Easter: ASX 200 hits another new record high

It's been a happy start to April for ASX 200 shares.

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Man raising both his arms in the air with a piggy bank on his lap, symbolising a record high.

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ASX investors seem to have come back from their Easter break with a noticeable spring in their steps. How can we say that? Well, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has today minted a fresh new all-time record high.

Yes, despite a shaky start this morning, the ASX 200 rose up as high as 7,910.5 points in morning trading today – the highest the index has ever climbed to in its long history. What a way to kick off April.

This high exceeds the new record we saw only last Thursday. As we covered at the time, Thursday trading saw the ASX 200 climb up to what was then a huge watermark of 7,901.2 points. So we've now had two new all-time highs in two trading days. Happy Easter indeed.

At the time of writing, the ASX 200 has cooled off and pulled back from its new record. The index is presently down 0.25% at 7,877.5 points at the time of writing. Even so, most ASX investors will no doubt be feeling fairly chuffed right now.

How is the ASX 200 at new record highs?

The string of new all-time highs that ASX 200 shares have enjoyed in recent months have been driven by many corners of the market. Perhaps none more than ASX bank stocks though.

Since November last year, all four of the big ASX 200 banks have climbed considerably. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) in particular, has soared substantially, printing several new all-time highs of its own.

Investors have also been buoyed by encouraging economic statistics coming out of both Australia and around the globe. These generally show inflation moderating without resulting in a significant uptick in unemployment.

This has in turn gotten investors excited about potential interest rate cuts. While central banks including our own Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have not given any decisive signs that they will cut rates this year, there's no doubt that hopes that this will occur have helped drive global markets to the new heights we have recently seen.

In terms of today's new record though, it appears that it's been mining and energy stocks doing most of the heavy lifting. The financial sector is actually showing a bit of weakness today, with many ASX banks, including CBA, in the red. But miners and drillers are on fire.

The S&P/ASX 200 Energy Index (ASX: XEJ) is currently up 0.5%, while the S&P/ASX 200 Materials Index (ASX: XMJ) has gained 0.9%. But gold miners are really shining, as you can see from the All Ordinaries Gold Index (ASX: XGD)'s massive gain of 3.2%.

Most commodities have seen an Easter bump in prices, which is at least partially what's driving these sectors higher. But the ASX 200's top shares so far today are almost exclusively gold stocks. This isn't much of a surprise, considering the gold price has just clocked a new record high of its own.

So thank miners and drillers for today's new ASX 200 highs. Let's see what the rest of the week brings for the Australian share market.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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