Jump in iron ore prices, Chinese stock gains buoys Australian share market

The Australian share market has started the week on a positive note, buoyed by a jump in iron ore prices and healthy gains for Chinese stocks.

Investors also cheered some strong profit results as the company reporting season rolls on.

The All Ordinaries index rose by 48 points to close at 5,057 and the ASX 200 index finished 1 per cent higher at 5,001.

Industrial stocks had the biggest gains, led by the logistics giant Brambles, which jumped by 8.5 per cent to $12 on the back of a rise in half-year profit to $US290.9 million.

Mining stocks also rose on higher iron ore prices.

Fortescue Metals fared the best, up 9.1 per cent to $2.17.

Meanwhile, BlueScope Steel said last year's deal with employees to cut 500 jobs and freeze wages for three years dramatically boosted profits.

BlueScope posted a half-year net profit of $200.1 million, more than double the profit of the same period the year before.

BlueScope shares added 1.6 per cent to $5.57, and shareholders will receive a fully-franked dividend of 3 cents a share.

Elsewhere, private health insurer NIB has reported a small rise in half-year net profit to $43.1 million, with its shares gaining 7.3 per cent to $3.52.

The big four banks finished mostly higher — ANZ was the only one to fall, down 0.3 per cent to $23.32.

Arrium shares soared by nearly 47 per cent to close at 2.2 cents after the loss-making steel and iron ore business sealed a recapitalisation deal worth more than $1 billion with the global asset management company GSO Capital Partners.

Arrium has been struggling with low commodity prices and has warned it may need to temporarily close its Whyalla steelworks.

The Australian dollar was boosted by the iron ore price rise, and was buying $US0.718, 64.6 euro cents, 81.1 Japanese yen and 50.2 British pence at 6:00pm AEDT.

Spot gold was fetching $US1,218 an ounce, while Brent crude oil was valued at $US33.49 a barrel.

Source: ABC News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *