Share market hits highest level since GFC

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Trevor Chappell
(Australian Associated Press)

The share market is at its highest level in almost 10 years as stronger oil and iron ore prices drove a big day of gains.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 added 60.5 points, or 1.02 per cent, to 6,014.3 points, the first time it has closed above 6,000 since January 2008.

Investors were buoyed by a positive lead from US markets, and higher prices for oil and iron ore.

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,” Mr Spooner 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, Rio Tinto added 2.1 per cent to $74.74 and Fortescue Metals surged 4.8 per cent to $5.03.

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum lifted 3.3 per cent to $33.29, 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, rising one 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.


ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 gained 60.5 points, or 1.02. per cent, to 6,014.3 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index added 60.2 points, or 1.0 per cent, to 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.


CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 76.80 US cents, from 76.53 US cents on Monday

* 87.55 Japanese yen, from 87.45 yen

* 66.17 euro cents, from 65.91 euro cents

* 58.34 British pence, from 58.51 pence

* 110.80 NZ cents, from 111.07 NZ cents


GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,278.92 per fine ounce, from $US1,270.04 per fine ounce on Monday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.8381pct, from 1.8233pct on Monday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.5334pct, from 2.5247pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.4 (implying a yield of 2.6pct), from 97.415 (2.585pct) on Monday

* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.06 (1.94pct), from 98.07 (1.93pct).

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)

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