Australian shares hit 17-month high

The Australian share market has hit a 17-month high as retailers rose on Christmas shopping figures and Fortescue Metals announcing it would restart a major project.

Fortescue rose 4.1% after say it will resume work expanding the $A1.1 billion Kings deposit at its Solomon iron ore mining hub in the Pilbara next month January because of a pick up in commodity prices.

Iron ore prices have risen from a low of $US86.70 on September 5 to about $US135 this week. Other mining companies, including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, also climbed.

Retail stocks advanced as shoppers lapped up post-Christmas sales. Department stores Myer and David Jones gained 2.9% and 3%, respectively. Electrical retailer Harvey Norman climbed 1.6% and JB Hi-Fi was up 0.3%.

The banks put in a mixed performance. National Australia Bank rose 0.3%, while Westpac, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank dropped 0.2-0.3%.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 12.8 points, or 0.3%, at 4648, its highest closing level since July 8, 2011.

The broader All Ordinaries index was up 0.3%, at 4661.4, its highest since July 22, 2011.

• New Zealand stocks rose in light holiday trading, helped by gains in Fletcher Building. Hellaby Holdings rose 15c to $3.20 after announcing its 85% shareholding in Contract Resources.

The NZX 50 Index rose 7.627 points, or 0.2%, to 4065.447. Within the index, 20 stocks rose, 18 fell and 13 were unchanged. Turnover was a lower-than-average $46 million.


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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.6611 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.9370 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.5936 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.4562 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 5.1611 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 77.3440 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1157.7 17.750 2016-02-05T00:
Oil Brent 34.8 1.070 2016-02-05T00:
Oil Nymex 30.8 -0.810 2016-02-05T00:
Silver Index 14.8 -0.070 2016-02-05T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 6137.7 6153.8 6137.7 0.26%
NASDAQ 4491.5 4493.2 4509.6 -3.25%
DAX 9375.3 9469.7 9393.4 -1.14%
DJI 16418.0 16423.6 16416.6 -1.29%
FTSE 5898.8 5945.9 5898.8 -0.86%
HKSE 19287.4 19397.9 19183.1 0.55%
NI225 16790.5 16893.1 17045.0 -1.32%