Share market lifts on strength of blue chips, not enough to finish week on a high

The local share market has lifted on the strength of blue chip stocks, but still finished the week below where it started.

The All Ordinaries Index closed 38 points higher, to 5392 and the benchmark ASX-200 closed at 5,318, a gain of 40 points.

Most of the blue chips were stronger — the big four banks posted gains, led by ANZ up 33 cents to $25.09.

Macquarie Group lifted $1.54 to $74.60, while BHP rose 29 cents to $18.53 and Rio Tinto put on 64 cents to $43.54.

But there were some losses, with Iluka losing 18 cents to $6.17 and Treasury Wine Estates dropping back eight cents to $10.20.

Meanwhile, investors in the port and rail company Asciano voted in favour of a $9.05-billion takeover plan.

The deal has yet to be approved by regulators and the Federal Court, but Asciano could be taken over by a consortium as early as August.

Asciano shares gained 1 cent to $8.88.

Supermarket giant Woolworths was fined $9 million for its part in a laundry detergent cartel with suppliers Colgate, Cussons, and Unilever.

Woolworths shares lifted 14 cents to $21.71.

In commodities, gold finished the week stronger at $US1,212 an ounce.

Iron ore was lower at $47.90 a tonne and West Texas crude oil was higher at $49.09 a barrel.

Just after 5:00pm (AEST) the Australian dollar was buying 72.49 US cents, higher ahead of key US jobs data to be released tonight.

Source: ABC News

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