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 0.6605 -0.0012 -0.18%
AUD 0.9375 0.0027 0.29%
EUR 0.5903 -0.0005 -0.08%
GBP 0.4572 -0.0013 -0.28%
HKD 5.1464 -0.0086 -0.17%
JPY 76.1530 -0.3170 -0.41%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1188.8 31.140 2016-02-08T00:
Oil Brent 33.6 -1.160 2016-02-08T00:
Oil Nymex 31.6 0.810 2016-02-08T00:
Silver Index 15.4 0.650 2016-02-08T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 6153.8 6153.8 6153.8 -1.34%
NASDAQ 4288.0 4301.5 4363.1 -1.82%
DAX 8980.7 9041.9 8979.4 -0.26%
DJI 16147.5 16147.5 16205.0 -1.10%
FTSE 5689.4 5739.2 5689.4 0.42%
HKSE 19287.4 19397.9 19183.1 0.55%
NI225 16666.8 16668.7 17004.3 -5.40%