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 0.6687 -0.0006 -0.09%
AUD 0.9333 0.0009 0.10%
EUR 0.6027 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.4575 -0.0001 -0.02%
HKD 5.1972 -0.0013 -0.03%
JPY 74.2430 0.0700 0.09%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1212.7 -6.530 2016-05-27T00:
Oil Brent 50.0 0.550 2016-05-27T00:
Oil Nymex 49.3 -0.080 2016-05-27T00:
Silver Index 16.3 -0.070 2016-05-27T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 6992.6 7016.1 6992.6 0.30%
NASDAQ 4904.1 4933.5 4901.8 0.65%
DAX 10257.9 10298.8 10272.7 0.13%
DJI 17826.8 17873.2 17828.3 0.25%
FTSE 6265.6 6275.9 6265.6 0.08%
HKSE 20523.7 20701.9 20576.8 0.57%
NI225 16973.7 16985.6 16834.8 0.89%
ASX 5405.9 5415.0 5405.9 0.07%