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 0.6606 0.0006 0.09%
AUD 0.9052 0.0001 0.01%
EUR 0.6038 0.0004 0.07%
GBP 0.4234 0.0004 0.09%
HKD 5.1210 0.0049 0.10%
JPY 81.9020 0.0030 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1088.6 -4.010 2015-07-30T00:
Oil Brent 53.3 -0.070 2015-07-30T00:
Oil Nymex 48.5 -0.250 2015-07-30T00:
Silver Index 14.7 -0.040 2015-07-30T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5891.9 5910.6 5891.9 0.19%
NASDAQ 5100.3 5135.6 5111.7 0.33%
DAX 11305.5 11313.3 11211.9 0.40%
DJI 17743.2 17761.2 17751.4 -0.03%
FTSE 6631.0 6697.4 6631.0 0.57%
HKSE 24822.4 24872.7 24619.5 -0.49%
NI225 20506.5 20537.5 20522.8 -0.05%