Australian shares hit 17-month high

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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 0.6493 0.0016 0.25%
AUD 0.9026 0.0001 0.01%
EUR 0.5779 0.0018 0.31%
GBP 0.4212 0.0009 0.21%
HKD 5.0348 0.0141 0.28%
JPY 78.6280 0.2160 0.28%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1124.6 -0.390 2015-08-27T00:
Oil Brent 47.6 4.420 2015-08-27T00:
Oil Nymex 42.6 4.310 2015-08-27T00:
Silver Index 14.4 0.380 2015-08-27T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5634.9 5688.3 5634.9 0.66%
NASDAQ 4761.1 4818.7 4697.5 2.45%
DAX 10271.3 10383.0 9997.4 3.18%
DJI 16285.5 16666.7 16285.5 2.27%
FTSE 5979.2 6212.5 5979.2 3.56%
HKSE 22424.4 22424.4 21838.5 1.06%
NI225 18908.7 19061.5 18574.4 2.41%