Share market closes higher despite a sell off in energy and mining stocks

The share market has closed higher for the fourth day in a row, despite a sell off in energy and mining stocks fuelled by tumbling commodity prices.

The All Ordinaries Index rose by 0.33 per cent to close at 5,404 while the ASX 200 Index added 0.4 per cent to finish on 5,343.

Mining stocks led the losses after iron ore prices tumbled nearly 6 per cent.

Fortescue Metals dropped 6.3 per cent to $2.85 and BHP Billiton fell 3.2 per cent to $17.83.

Gold miners were also sold after the price of the yellow metal fell overnight after a run of gains and Regis Resources fell by 5 per cent to $3.03.

The fertiliser maker Incitec Pivot fared the best in the sector despite announcing a steep fall in half year net profit, down more than three quarters to just over $31 million.

The company has blamed the slowdown in the mining industry and a fall in fertiliser prices.

Investors cheered the underlying profit though, with Incitec Pivot gaining 9.1 per cent to close at $3.12.

Investors also dumped energy stocks after oil prices retreated overnight.

The coal miner Whitehaven Coal lost 5.7 per cent to 67 cents but banks were in favour as investors assess their latest profit results.

The Commonwealth Bank led the way, up 2.9 per cent to $78 while Westpac was the weakest of the big four but still finished 0.6 per cent higher at $31.30.

About 5:00pm AEST the Australian dollar was buying 73.3 US cents, 64.4 euro cents, 79.8 Japanese yen and 50.8 British pence.

Spot gold was fetching slightly higher at $US1,266 an ounce and oil prices were also higher, with Brent crude up nearly 0.5 per cent to $US43.80 a barrel.

Source: ABC News

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