ASX: Share market posts biggest gain in two months on election, US jobs

The share market has posted its biggest gain in more than two months, as investors cheered some good news on employment in the United States and the resolution of Australia's federal election.

The ASX 200 index jumped by 2 per cent to finish on 5,337, while the All Ordinaries Index gained 1.9 per cent or 102 points to finish on 5,418.

Miners led the way, with mineral sands miner Iluka Resources faring the best, soaring 10.8 per cent to $7.16.

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals also gained, jumping 5.4 per cent to $4.07.

Banks were also in demand after their recent sell off; ANZ had the biggest gain, adding 3.5 per cent to $23.92.

Among the few stocks to ease, surf wear retailer Billabong lost 2.7 per cent to close at $1.29.

Billabong has reached a deal to settle a shareholder class action over the timing of market disclosures that caused its share price to tumble in 2011.

Billabong says it will pay $45 million to settle the case, brought on behalf of shareholders who invested in the retailer in 2011.

The medical centre operator Primary Health Care tumbled more than 8 per cent at one point during the day, after it cut its full-year earnings forecast.

Primary Health Care expects to take $66 million in write-offs across a range of items for last financial year.

Shares recovered some ground but still finished down 2.4 per cent at $3.73.

In economic news, the latest Bureau of Statistics figures show the value of home loans to investors jumped by a seasonally adjusted 3.9 per cent in May, after a big fall the month before.

The number of new loans for owner-occupied homes fell by 1 per cent, putting the value of such loans down 0.6 per cent.

In currency trade, the dollar was slightly lower against the greenback, buying 75.5 US cents, 68.4 euro cents, 76.9 Japanese yen and 58.3 British pence.

Oil prices were down, with Brent crude nearly 1 per cent lower at around $US46.35 a barrel, and spot gold slipping to buy around $US1,362 an ounce.

Source: ABC News

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