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 0.7044 -0.0025 -0.35%
AUD 0.9407 0.0008 0.09%
EUR 0.6404 -0.0026 -0.40%
GBP 0.5378 0.0003 0.06%
HKD 5.4634 -0.0189 -0.34%
JPY 74.3130 0.1850 0.25%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1320.8 1.300 2016-07-26T00:
Oil Brent 45.2 0.100 2016-07-26T00:
Oil Nymex 42.9 -0.210 2016-07-26T00:
Silver Index 19.7 0.030 2016-07-26T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7310.4 7324.6 7310.4 -0.12%
NASDAQ 5095.6 5122.3 5097.6 0.24%
DAX 10314.4 10345.8 10247.8 0.89%
DJI 18497.4 18522.5 18493.1 -0.10%
FTSE 6724.0 6758.0 6724.0 0.32%
HKSE 22193.3 22277.2 22129.7 0.40%
NI225 16526.1 16821.4 16383.0 1.72%
ASX 5537.5 5564.6 5537.5 0.04%