07/11/2017 - 14:17

Iron ore, oil drive stocks higher

07/11/2017 - 14:17

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The Australian share market is at its highest level in almost 10 years, with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closing 1 per cent higher today and the Western Australia-focused BN30 index jumping 1.8 per cent to a new high.

Iron ore, oil drive stocks higher

The Australian share market is at its highest level in almost 10 years, with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closing 1 per cent higher today and the Western Australia-focused BN30 index jumping 1.8 per cent to a new high.

The S&P/ASX200 index was up 60.5 points, or 1.02 per cent, at 6,014.3 points at 1630 AEDT, the first time it has closed above 6,000 points since January 2008.
Investors were buoyed by a positive lead from US markets, and higher prices for oil and iron ore.

The BN30 index, which was launched by Business News at the start of 2016, closed 1.76 per cent higher at 137.59 points.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said trading was relatively light due to the Melbourne Cup holiday in Victoria.

"The key catalyst was the real strength we saw in oil and iron ore prices last night, so the market has been led higher by really quite solid gains in the energy and materials sector," he said.

"Other areas have been dragged higher by the general optimism and by the fact that US markets and everything else is climbing higher as economies have improved."

BHP Billiton gained 3.9 per cent to $28.75 and Rio Tinto added 2.1 per cent to $74.74.

Key WA stocks that pushed the BN30 index higher include Fortescue Metals Group, which surged 4.8 per cent to $5.03, and Woodside Petroleum, up 3.3 per cent to $33.29.

Nickel miner Western Areas (up 5.3 per cent), gold and nickel miner Independence Group (up 4.4 per cent), iron ore miner and contractor Mineral Resources (up 2.9 per cent) and copper miner Sandfire Resources (up 2.8 per cent) also contributed to the strong rise in the BN30 index.

The BN30 index is up 12.7 per cent during the past fortnight, with onshore oil producer Buru Energy and MMA Offshore leading the charge over that time frame.

Meanwhile, among national stocks, Santos jumped 3.7 per cent to $4.76 and Oil Search was up 2.9 per cent at $7.47.

Commonwealth Bank was the best of the big four lenders, up 1 per cent to $78.20, while ANZ added 0.9 per cent to $30.02, National Australia Bank gained 0.4 per cent to $31.70 and Westpac was 0.3 per cent higher at $32.64.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to again leave the cash rate unchanged had little impact on the Australian dollar, which had earlier gained ground against a weaker US dollar and got support from the rally in iron ore prices.

The local currency was trading at US76.81 cents at 1630 AEDT on Tuesday, up from US76.53 cents on Monday.
ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 60.5 points, or 1.02. per cent, at 6,014.3 points at 1630 AEDT.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 60.2 points, or 1.0 per cent, at 6,087.4 points.

* The SPI200 futures contract was up 67 points, or 1.13 per cent, at 6,000 points.

* National turnover was 4.6 billion securities traded worth $6.0 billion.

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