Australian share market rises for second day in a row, energy and mining stocks best performers

The Australian share market rose for the second day in a row on higher oil prices, with energy and mining stocks the best performing sectors.

Fortescue Metals jumped 8 per cent or 23 cents to $3.14, Santos rose 6 per cent or 26 cents to $4.39, and Bluescope Steel jumped 9 per cent or 51 cents to $6.00.

The All Ordinaries Index rose 0.7 per cent or 38 points to 5,459 and the ASX 200 rose 37 points to 5,369.

The big four banks were mainly higher except for National Australia Bank, which traded without its dividend.

ANZ rose 20 cents to $24.51. It plans to cut 200 jobs in Australia, blaming weak economic growth and a need to improve productivity.

Dairy processor Murray Goulburn's shares fell to a record low of 85 cents and ended down 9 per cent to nearly 87 cents.

The dairy giant says it will vigorously defend a class action by investors, who accused the cooperative of breaching corporate law by allegedly misleading unit holders before its partial float last year.

Paint maker Dulux Group says half-year net profit rose to nearly $64 million.

Oil prices rise to nearly $US50 a barrel

Oil prices rose on supply disruptions, with West Texas crude oil increasing to nearly $US48 a barrel, and Brent crude futures rising above $US49 a barrel.

Spot gold is weaker in Asian trade to nearly $US1,276 an ounce.

The Australian dollar jumped by more than half a cent after the minutes from the last Reserve Bank meeting came out.

The meetings said the official interest rate cut earlier this month was a close call, but RBA board members thought a rate reduction would help the economy and boost inflation.

Traders betted that another rate cut is off the cards for a while.

At 5pm AEST the Australian dollar was buying about 73.55 US cents, 64.86 Euro cents, 50.64 British pence, 80.31 Japanese yen and nearly $NZ1.08.

Source: ABC News

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