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Credit Suisse flags flat year for ASX

Investment bank Credit Suisse is forecasting a flat 12 months for Australian stocks as the resources sector and the big four banks weigh on the market.

Shares up 56.8 points

The share market has enjoyed its strongest gain in a month as bargain hunters moved in and merger and acquisition activity stirred investor interest.

Evolution snaps up Cowal mine for $US550m

Evolution Mining has snared the Cowal gold mine in central NSW for $US550 million ($A702.74 million).

Skilled shares soar on merger talks

Shares in workplace provider Skilled Group have jumped 12 per cent after it announced it was in merger talks with rival Programmed Maintenance Services.

Sirius surges on $1.8b takeover offer

Gold, nickel, zinc and copper producer Independence Group has struck a $1.8 billion deal to acquire Sirius Resources.

$A falls after strong US data

The Australian dollar is lower following the release of strong US inflation figures and falls in commodity prices.

Gold falls as Fed considers rate hike

Gold prices have eased after US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said she expected an interest rate hike this year.

Shares close 2.4pts higher

The Australian share market has closed flat, with a lacklustre performance from the big banks dragging on the broader market.

Vale is a responsible producer: Forrest

Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest says Brazilian iron ore giant Vale is a responsible producer, on the same day that Roy Hill Holdings chief executive Barry Fitzgerald warned about the impact of Vale's rapid expansion.

Scaffidi didn't disclose BHP gifts

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says she was advised she did not need to disclose her acceptance of $16,000 worth of flights, accommodation and Olympics tickets from BHP Billiton.

Govt risked jobs with ore inquiry: Shorten

The prime minister is being urged to repair the damage after the federal government let speculation linger on the possibility of an iron ore inquiry.

Shares open 24.1pts higher

The share market has opened higher, driven by the mining and energy sectors. At 1020 AEST on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 24.1 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 5,686.4, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 24.1 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 5,687.7.

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Exporters

LabelValue
Rio Tinto$26.71bn
BHP Billiton Iron Ore$24.30bn
North West Shelf Venture$19.62bn
Fortescue Metals Group$12.48bn
Woodside Petroleum$6.09bn
Others$81.20bn
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