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 0.7273 0.0037 0.51%
AUD 0.9520 0.0021 0.22%
EUR 0.6462 0.0026 0.40%
GBP 0.5605 0.0032 0.57%
HKD 5.6406 0.0316 0.56%
JPY 72.9450 -0.0340 -0.05%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1337.3 -0.160 2016-09-26T00:
Oil Brent 46.5 -1.730 2016-09-23T00:
Oil Nymex 44.5 -1.790 2016-09-23T00:
Silver Index 19.8 -0.290 2016-09-23T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7264.9 7265.2 7264.9 -0.17%
NASDAQ 5275.7 5282.3 5305.8 -0.91%
DAX 10555.2 10560.8 10627.0 -2.19%
DJI 18217.8 18217.8 18261.5 -0.91%
FTSE 6909.4 6909.6 6909.4 -1.32%
HKSE 23554.8 23563.5 23686.5 -1.56%
NI225 16707.5 16707.5 16754.0 -1.25%
ASX 5431.3 5436.1 5431.3 0.00%