High commodity prices, rising Australian dollar make for strong day on sharemarket

The local sharemarket has rallied, thanks to stronger commodity prices, and the Australian dollar is trading at its highest level in almost a year.

The All Ordinaries Index has gained 73 points to close at 5,127.

The benchmark ASX200 has lifted even more, to 5,054.

The price of iron ore has lifted about 10 per cent over the past two days, as production in China has increased, while the oil price has jumped about 4 per cent on the back of reports Russia and Saudi Arabia have reached an agreement to freeze their output.

Energy and resources stocks saw big gains, and the banking sector also regained some of its losses from last week, with the big four all gaining more than 2 per cent.

The iron ore miner Fortescue Metals jumped 7.8 per cent to $3.19.

Its quarterly production results came out today showing shipments are running ahead of target, with 42 million tonnes of iron ore sent offshore.

The company said it had reduced production costs for the first quarter by 6 per cent.

BHP has been given a boost too — $1.02 to $17.92.

Rio Tinto gained $2.05 to $47.38 while Santos gained 17 cents to $4.10.

In commodities, West Texas Crude Oil lifted to $US42.07 a barrel.

Iron Ore is stronger at $US58.50 a tonne. Gold is weaker at $US1,248 an ounce.

The dollar was at its strongest level in almost a year earlier on Wednesday, buying 76.6 US cents, but analysts put this down to a weakening US dollar.

Source: ABC News

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