Share market boosted by commodity gains, but banks flounder after ASIC announcement

The local share market has made healthy gains, thanks to a stronger currency and higher commodity prices.

The All Ordinaries closed at 5,281, lifting 26 points.

The ASX-200 has put on 27 points, to close at 5,216.

The resources sector was enjoying the happier outlook for commodities, with the sector as a whole up 2.46 per cent today.

Gains for Fortescue, Rio Tinto, BHP

The best performer today was Fortescue, which put on 14 cents to $3.46.

Rio Tinto also did well, lifting $2.01 to $51.30.

BHP Billiton told the market a cyclone in Australia and the mine disaster in Brazil have lowered its iron ore production for the first few months of this year, with production down 10 per cent from a year ago.

But its shares made gains, up 67 cents to $20.34.

Meanwhile oil and gas company Woodside Petroleum says sales revenue plunged because of lower oil and gas prices.

Shares dropped by 42 cents to $26.40.

Big banks slide amid levy increase

There was also news of an extra $127 million in funding for the corporate regulator ASIC, so it can keep a better eye on the banking sector.

The big four banks had a mixed session, with the Commonwealth Bank down 15 cents to $74.55.

The ANZ lost a similar amount, to $23.90 and NAB lost 4 cents to $27.16.

However Westpac gained 21 cents, finishing at $30.76.

In commodities, oil finished the day stronger at $US40.83 at 5:00pm AEST.

Iron Ore is also making gains at $US61.80.

Gold was weaker at $US1248 an ounce, and the Australian dollar was buying 77.9 US cents

Source: ABC News

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