Aust share close higher

The Australian share market has closed at a seven-week high, with across the board gains, especially for larger stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday was up 42.5 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 4,551.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had risen 40.2 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 4,555.9 points.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 43 points higher at 4,558 with 22,420 contracts traded.

The Australian market was aided by positive offshore leads, with both Wall Street and European markets posting gains.

US President Obama overnight indicated that the White House and Republicans could reach an agreement to avoid the "fiscal cliff" if the Republicans dropped their opposition to raising taxes on incomes of more than $US250,000 ($A239,543) a year.

Lonsec private client adviser Michael Heffernan said he believed the market was becoming less volatile to changes in the US and European economies.

"The trend is we are becoming desensitised to the US and European economic situation and I think that trend is pushing the market up," he said.

Among the big miners, BHP Billiton surged 33 cents to $34.74, Rio Tinto gained 25 cents to $60.17 and Fortescue was up five cents to $3.79.

The banks also had a positive day. ANZ added 17 cents to $24.89, National Australia Bank jumped 25 cents to $24.50, Westpac put on 28 cents to $25.75 and Commonwealth Bank gained 52 cents to $60.88.

Myer shares fell one cent to $2.16 after it blamed its weak performance on economic conditions, introduction of the carbon tax and a GST loophole on goods bought overseas.

Sydney gold closed at $US1,703.20 per fine ounce, up $US14.55 Thursday's close of $US1688.65.

National turnover was 1.39 billion securities worth $3.92 billion, with 530 stocks up, 405 down and 365 unchanged.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9327-0.0005-0.05%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5555-0.0003-0.05%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6753-0.0003-0.05%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg