Share­mar­ket shakes off Mid­dle East con­cerns High- note fin­ish

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

T H E A u s t r a l i a n share­mar­ket ended the week on a high note, driven by gains in the ma­te­ri­als sec­tor af­ter a pos­i­tive lead from Wall Street over­shad­owed geopo­lit­i­cal con­cerns in the Mid­dle East.

T h e b e n c h m a r k S & P / ASX200 in­dex was up 57.9 points, or 1.2 per cent, at 4 8 6 4 . 3 p o i n t s wh i l e t h e broader All Or­di­nar­ies in­dex gained 55.8 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 4958.6 points.

CMC Mar­kets an­a­lyst Matt Lewis said pos­i­tive jobs data from the US was the cat­a­lyst for a strong session on the Aus­tralian bourse.

Not only was the trend posi- tive, but trad­ing vol­umes were fairly ro­bust, Mr Lewis said.

Over­all na­tional turnover was 3.69 bil­lion shares worth $ 5.27 bil­lion, with 769 stocks up, 464 down and 348 un­changed.

‘‘ Rather than fo­cus­ing on the Mid­dle East or North­ern African tur­moil, traders ( in the US) turned their at­ten­tion last night back to the ac­tual eco­nomic data, which is con­tin­u­ing to show signs of positi ve growth,’’ Mr Lewis said.

‘‘ They were ex­pect­ing ini­tial job­less claims to come in higher than they did. That was seen as a good sign.’’

Mr Lewis said it was un­sur­pris­ing to see ma­jor base met­als min­ers gain ground af­ter the oil price eased overnight.

BHP Bil­li­ton was up 70 cents, or 1.5 per cent, at $ 47.25 while Rio Tinto rose $ 1.32, or 1.57 per cent, to $ 85.52.

Amon g e n e r g y s t o c k s , Wood­side was 33 cents lower at $ 42.85, Oil Search re­treated four cents to $ 6.86 and Santos gave up three cents to $ 14.46.

In the bank­ing sec­tor, Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank was up 23 cents at $ 25.52, West­pac lifted 37 cents to $ 23.48, ANZ firmed 14 cents to $ 23.74, and Com­mon­wealth Bank ap­pre­ci­ated 54 cents at $ 52.65.

Aus­tralia’s l argest gold miner Newcrest j umped $ 1.79, or 4.68 per cent, to $ 40.02 af­ter say­ing it was bullish about its Pa­pua New Guinea op­er­a­tions as it em­barks on a global in­vestor road­show.

But the mar­ket gold price fell on Thurs­day on in­di­ca­tions that the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank may raise in­ter­est rates to fight in­fla­tion.

The spot price of gold in Syd­ney was $ US1418.105 per fine ounce, down $ US10.395 on Thurs­day’s clos­ing price of $ US1428.50.

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