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 0.7184 0.0005 0.07%
AUD 0.9345 -0.0018 -0.19%
EUR 0.6769 0.0013 0.19%
GBP 0.5763 -0.0012 -0.21%
HKD 5.5752 0.0031 0.06%
JPY 81.3060 0.2300 0.28%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1234.8 -4.300 2017-02-17T00:
Oil Brent 56.1 0.140 2017-02-17T00:
Oil Nymex 53.8 0.020 2017-02-17T00:
Silver Index 18.0 -0.040 2017-02-17T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7099.5 7104.6 7099.5 0.07%
NASDAQ 5807.3 5838.6 5814.9 0.41%
DAX 11831.7 11841.1 11757.0 0.60%
DJI 20564.1 20624.0 20619.8 0.02%
FTSE 7300.0 7329.6 7300.0 -0.00%
HKSE 24066.0 24202.3 24033.7 0.47%
NI225 19267.9 19302.1 19251.1 0.26%
ASX 5795.1 5795.1 5795.1 -0.26%