Market close: Australian shares rise to fresh 11-month high, banks, health stocks buoy

The Australian share market has risen to close at fresh 11-month highs, supported by major banking and health stocks.

Markets at 5:25 pm (AEST)

  • ASX 200 +0.7 pc to 5,489, All Ords +0.6 pc to 5,566
  • Biggest gains: REA Group +2.9 pc to $64.81, Sydney Airport +2.9 pc to $7.36, Ramsay Health +3.3 pc to $76.59
  • Biggest losses: CIMIC -19 pc to $26.96, BHP Billiton -2.9 pc to $19.25, St Barbara -3.5 pc to $3.31
  • Futures trade: Euro STOXX 600 +0.3 pc to 336.7, FTSE +0.1 pc to 6,652 S&P 500 +0.1 to 2,160
  • AUD: 74.8 US cents, 57.2 British pence, 79.4 Japanese yen, 68.1 euro cents, $NZ1.063

The Big Four banks all rose, with Westpac leading, jumping 1.2 per cent, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia gained 1 per cent to 1-1/2 month highs of $76.76.

Among health stocks, CSL climbed 2.1 per cent, while Mesoblast jumped 1.8 per cent.

Other blue chip stocks also supported the broader market, with Telstra up 0.9 per cent, while Wesfarmers gained 1.4 per cent.

Miners were the only drag on the market, with Rio Tinto losing 2 per cent to two-week lows of $48.

BHP Billiton dumped 2.9 per cent. Earlier today, the iron ore miner said record annual iron ore production in Western Australia had offset a drop in output in Brazil because of the Samarco mine disaster. Mining remains suspended at Samarco.

CIMIC crashed 19 per cent to $26.96. Despite a 3 per cent increase in net profit to $265 million over the same time last year, brokers were deeply disappointed with the quality of the construction and engineering company's result.

Elsewhere, the International Monetary Fund trimmed its global growth forecast on the political and economic uncertainty generated by Brexit.

Meanwhile, a new Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Report showed the chances of owning a home are slipping for many Australians, finding that soon, fewer than half of adults will own their own home.

In commodities trade, spot gold has slipped to $US1,329 an ounce, while West Texas crude is buying $US44.59 a barrel.

Source: ABC News

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