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 0.7167 0.0048 0.67%
AUD 0.9558 0.0024 0.25%
EUR 0.6432 0.0034 0.53%
GBP 0.5398 0.0107 2.02%
HKD 5.5636 0.0405 0.73%
JPY 73.4440 0.2270 0.31%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1339.0 17.480 2016-07-01T00:
Oil Brent 50.9 1.180 2016-07-01T00:
Oil Nymex 49.0 0.750 2016-07-01T00:
Silver Index 19.6 0.967 2016-07-01T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 6897.5 6932.1 6897.5 0.42%
NASDAQ 4837.2 4880.2 4842.7 0.41%
DAX 9742.8 9806.5 9680.1 0.99%
DJI 17924.2 18002.4 17930.0 0.11%
FTSE 6504.3 6587.4 6504.3 1.13%
HKSE 20736.8 20828.0 20436.1 1.75%
NI225 15698.0 15765.0 15575.9 0.68%
ASX 5233.4 5278.9 5233.4 0.25%