Big banks, healthcare stocks skyrocket in share market turnaround, mining stocks plummet

The market staged a turnaround with gains accelerating into late trade, as investors pushed banks and healthcare stocks higher.

After starting the day in negative territory, the ASX 200 finished up 1 per cent at 5,157.

The All Ordinaries rose 0.9 per cent to 5,216.

After notching up some big falls yesterday, there was a lot of love for the likes of Westpac, ANZ and NAB, which all rose in excess of 2 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank stocks saw a smaller gain as analysts continue to worry about the long-term cost of the bank's life insurance scandal.

In the mining space, Fortescue shares continue to slide as investors fail to be wowed by the potential deal with Brazilian iron ore giant Vale announced yesterday.

On Monday, ahead of the announcement, Fortescue's shares surged 26 per cent.

After the announcement yesterday, there was a brief spike, before closing down 9 per cent.

Today, Fortescue management was issued with a "please explain" notice by the ASX over Monday's big share price movement.

Fortescue responded by saying the announcement was not price sensitive.

Fortescue boss Nev Power explained Monday's rise pointing to a jump in the iron ore price and gains in futures markets.

Some market participants are still questioning who had prior knowledge of the deal.

Commodity prices slide amid Chinese export fall

Most other miners were under pressure today after commodity prices went down overnight.

The decline was sparked by Chinese data which shows exports have just recorded the sharpest fall in more than six years.

Iron ore is now at $US63.30 a tonne.

It is expected to continue to fall, after the China Iron and Steel Association, which represents China's biggest state-owned steel mills, hosed down expectations of a sustained rally in the iron ore market saying it expects the price to return to around $US40 a tonne in the short-term.

BHP Billiton lost 2.25 per cent and Rio Tinto lost 2.4 per cent.

South Australian steel maker Arrium dived 13 per cent, despite the Federal Government awarding it a contract to replace the states ageing rail lines.

Westpac's consumer confidence index dropped and official figures revealed demand for owner-occupier and investor property loans are falling, as concerns over the housing market increase.

The Australian dollar's easing, now at 74.25 US cents.

Source: ABC News

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