Share market rallies on positive Australian, US economic data

Positive economic data from Australia and the US has seen the share market rally.

The All Ordinaries Index rose 1.9 per cent or 94 points to 5,084 and the ASX 200 increased 99 points or 2 per cent to 5,021.

Banks, miners and energy stocks also gained as global share markets surged.

The Commonwealth Bank rose 3.5 per cent or $2.53 to $73.94 while BHP Billiton gained more than 4 per cent to finish at $16.73.

Shipbuilder Austal rose nearly 7 per cent to $1.42 on a warship contract with the US Defence Department.

Stem cell firm, Mesoblast also had a good result and jumped 28 per cent, or 62 cents, to $2.82.

However, embattled legal firm Slater & Gordon fell more than 17 per cent to 26 cents.

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the Australian economy expanded by 0.6 of a per cent seasonally adjusted over the last few months of 2015 — the fastest economic growth in two years according to CommSec.

Over the year, economic growth increased by 3 per cent — more than the 2.5 per cent expected by economists.

Household and government spending drove the result but business investment was weaker as the mining boom fades.

Credit ratings agency Moody's changed its outlook on China from stable to negative because of rising government debt and falling foreign reserves, but did reaffirm China's credit rating at AA3.

In commodities, spot gold was weaker at $US1,227.92 an ounce as share markets and the greenback gained.

At about 5:00pm AEDT West Texas crude oil was higher at $US34.40 a barrel and Tapis crude was at $US38.42 a barrel.

In currencies, the Australian dollar has jumped against the greenback on the better than expected GDP figures and was trading at around 72.4 US cents, 51.8 British pence, 66.6 Euro cents, 82.5 Japanese yen and $NZ1.09.

Source: ABC News

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