ASX experiences strong gains after Wall Street rally, jump in iron ore prices

The share market has experienced another day of strong gains, with a rally on Wall Street and another big jump for iron ore prices keeping spirits buoyant.

The mood was lifted further after Singapore's central bank cut its currency appreciation, which has prompted hopes that more central banks in the region will take similar steps to ease their monetary policy.

The All Ordinaries Index jumped by 61 points to close at 5,188.

The ASX 200 index finished 1.3 per cent higher at 5,119.

Consumer stocks led the way — health food company Select Harvests added 5.1 per cent to $4.32.

Baby food maker Bellamy's soared by 7.2 per cent to $10.04 after China clarified that new import rules would not kick in until 2018.

Mining stocks were also in demand due to the rise for iron ore prices.

BHP Billiton jumped by 5.3 per cent to $18.87.

Banks also rallied for another day as Westpac led the big four higher, up 2.6 per cent to $30.73.

The share market's main operator, ASX Limited, has revealed a more than 6 per cent rise in profit for the nine months to the end of March.

ASX shares closed 2.7 per cent higher at $42.70.

Whitehaven Coal was one of the top performers after reporting a 21 per cent rise in coal production in the March quarter, despite tumbling coal prices and a global glut.

It jumped 9.7 per cent to 74 cents.

Official figures show the unemployment rate fell to a two-and-a-half-year low of 5.7 per cent in March, seasonally adjusted.

Job creation was strong — more than 26,000 new jobs were created — but they were all part-time.

The dollar rose briefly on the news, fetching 76.4 US cents just after 5:00pm (AEST).

It was also buying 68 euro cents, 83.6 Japanese yen and 54.2 British pence.

Spot gold was lower at around $US1,233 an ounce and oil prices were also down — Brent crude was fetching $US43.50 a barrel.

Source: ABC News

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