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 0.7188 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.9481 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6451 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.5452 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 5.5895 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 73.1040 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1349.0 16.400 2016-07-29T00:
Oil Brent 43.5 -1.170 2016-07-29T00:
Oil Nymex 41.6 0.430 2016-07-29T00:
Silver Index 20.3 0.155 2016-07-29T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7306.4 7357.7 7306.4 0.57%
NASDAQ 5162.1 5175.8 5155.0 0.14%
DAX 10320.8 10355.3 10274.9 0.61%
DJI 18442.5 18466.5 18456.3 -0.13%
FTSE 6721.1 6740.5 6721.1 0.05%
HKSE 22056.0 22152.8 22174.3 -1.28%
NI225 16359.7 16679.2 16476.8 0.56%
ASX 5556.6 5570.4 5556.6 0.10%