Pos­i­tive end to trad­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

THE Aus­tralian stock mar­ket ended nearly one per cent higher yes­ter­day, led by min­ing, en­ergy and fi­nan­cial stocks.

At 1615 AEDT, the bench­mark S& P/ ASX200 in­dex was up 43 points, or 0.91 per cent, at 4742.6 points, while the broader All Or­di­nar­ies in­dex had climbed 46.1 points, or 0.96 per cent, to 4840.3 points.

Shares in Wood­side were up $ 1.16, or 2.5 per cent, at $ 46.72 as ru­mours swirled around the mar­ket that the com­pany was look­ing at buy­ing Shell’s 24 per cent stake in Wood­side for $ 9 bil­lion.

BHP Bil­li­ton stock ended flat at five cents higher at $ 44.76.

That was de­spite an an­nounce­ment by t he re­source gi­ant that it would spend nearly $ US10 bil­lion to ex­pand iron ore op­er­a­tions and en­ergy and met­al­lur­gi­cal coal projects in West­ern Aus­tralia.

IG Mar­kets re­search an­a­lyst Ben Pot­ter said there had been a late sell-off, caus­ing the mar­ket to lose around 30 points, due to profit tak­ing at the end of the week.

‘‘ It’s still a pretty good re­sult,’’ Mr Pot­ter said.

‘‘ A 2.2 per cent gain for the week has been a solid bounce back, led by the en­ergy, ma­te­ri­als and fi­nan­cial stocks.’’

The gains this week were in stark con­trast to heavy losses in­curred af­ter the Ja­panese tsunami and un­rest in Libya.

‘‘ There are still a lot of prob­lems in the world, but the mar­ket seems to be able to move past it,’’ he said.

‘ ‘ Yes­ter­day, t here was smoke spew­ing out of the re­ac­tor and the mar­ket did noth­ing, so mar­ket sen­ti­ment has changed.

‘‘ It’s now look­ing pretty pos­i­tive.’’

Other re­source stocks were stronger. Rio Tinto was up 42 cents at $ 82.02, Santos was up 19 cents at $ 15.50 and Fortescue Met­als Group rose 16 cents to $ 6.28.

The ma­jor banks were all stronger.

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