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 0.7229 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.9558 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6462 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.5509 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 5.6125 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 73.5500 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1322.6 -0.520 2016-08-26T00:
Oil Brent 50.1 0.060 2016-08-26T00:
Oil Nymex 47.6 0.310 2016-08-26T00:
Silver Index 18.6 0.160 2016-08-26T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7427.8 7430.4 7427.3 -0.48%
NASDAQ 5219.1 5253.4 5212.2 0.13%
DAX 10512.2 10613.1 10529.6 0.55%
DJI 18467.9 18572.1 18448.4 -0.29%
FTSE 6816.9 6857.3 6816.9 0.31%
HKSE 22827.2 22997.4 22815.0 0.41%
NI225 16485.5 16490.5 16556.0 -1.18%
ASX 5541.9 5544.4 5541.9 -0.48%