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(Australian Associated Press)
Australian shares have hit a fresh ten-year high, with a surge in CSL stocks and gains for Wesfarmers helping the market overcome falls in energy and materials stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 29.4 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 6,329.0 points , while the All Ordinaries was up 29.5 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 6,415.7 points.
CSL Ltd, the fifth-largest company on the ASX, posted a near 30 per cent rise in annual net profit on Wednesday.
The news drove CSL shares up $12.89 – a 6.4 per cent gain that took the stock to a record close of $214.58 and helped push the wider healthcare sector index to a record high.
Wesfarmers posted record earnings in its core divisions, sending its shares 3.2 per cent higher to $52.20.
Insurance Australia Group dipped 5.8 per cent to a near four-month low of $7.76 after the insurer flagged a subdued earnings outlook and reported a modest rise in full-year profit, driven by lower investment income.
Commonwealth Bank also weighed on the financial index after trading ex-dividend.
Materials stocks lost ground, underpinned by lower base metals prices and a fall in Chinese iron ore futures.
Global miner BHP slipped 0.4 per cent to $33.70, while Rio Tinto dipped 0.7 per cent to $73.75.
Media group Fairfax Media swung to an annual net loss of $63.8 million, hurt by significant items totalling $188.7 million related to impairment charges at Australian Community Media and New Zealand’s Stuff, as well as restructuring and redundancy costs.
Fairfax closed 1.7 per cent lower at 87.5 cents.
The Australian dollar was at 72.19 US cents, down from 72.77 US cents on Tuesday, affected by global trade worries and local data showing annual wages growth remains at a low 2.1 per cent.
ON THE ASX:
* The S&P/ASX200 closed up 29.4 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 6,329.0 points
* The All Ordinaries was up 29.5 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 6,415.7 points.
* The SPI200 Futures index was up 49 or 0.6 per cent, at 6,295 points points at 1630 AEST