Share market, dollar post biggest weekly gain since October as economic data buoys investor optimism

The Australian share market and dollar posted the biggest weekly gain since October as supportive economic data buoyed investor optimism.

The market finished modestly higher for the session, lifted by banks and miners.

Both main indexes gained 0.2 per cent.

The ASX 200 added 9 points to 5,090, while the All Ordinaries also gained 9 points to 5,151.

The share market jumped 4.3 per cent for the week, while the dollar gained 3.3 per cent for the same period.

Banks trimmed some gains after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it started action in the Federal Court against ANZ for allegedly rigging interest rates.

In a statement, ANZ said it rejected all of the allegations and will "vigorously defend legal action".

Among banks, ANZ added 0.9 per cent to $25.02, while Commonwealth Bank climbed 1.1 per cent to $75.74.

Miners were boosted as iron ore prices remained above $US51 a tonne.

BHP Billiton jumped 2.4 per cent, while rival Rio Tinto bounced 1.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed retail sales rose slightly in January, but were lower than economists' expectations.

Retail trade rose 0.3 per cent to $24.83 billion supported by buying in household items, and as people went out to cafes and restaurants for meals.

Around 5:00pm AEDT, the Australian dollar hovered near three-month highs of $73.6 US cents.

It was also fetching 67.2 Euro cents, 83.7 Japanese yen, 52 British pence and $NZ1.09.

Spot gold gained 1.5 per cent to fetch $US1,261 an ounce.

Source: ABC News

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