Australian share market closes higher

The Australian Share market has finished in the black thanks to positive global leads and higher oil prices.

But investors worry the recovery could be short-lived if volatility continues into next week.

Local shares moved higher on Friday following a second consecutive day of gains on Wall street, with energy stocks leading the charge after a 10 per cent gain in the oil price overnight.

CMC Markets analyst Rick Spooner said Australian stocks opened strongly but the market did not experience follow-through buying.

"We've flagged a little bit during the day and that appears to be a bit of book-squaring and potentially some profit-taking," Mr Spooner said.

"There's still some nervousness in the market.

"Even though the rally over the last few days has given people comfort, the downward moves have been very large and it's possible we are looking at volatile swings."

The big energy players all finished in positive territory, with Woodside Petroleum increasing 55 cents, or 1.8 per cent, to $32.05, Santos gained 28 cents, or 5.6 per cent, to $5.30 and Oil Search rose 38 cents, or 5.9 per cent, to $6.77.

BHP Billiton shares were $1.43 higher at $25.49, Rio Tinto was up $2.29 to $51.10 and Fortescue Metals gained 11 cents to $1.90.

IOOF shares were 1.7 per cent higher at $9.11 after the company predicted strong growth for the superannuation industry in the year ahead after lifting its annual net profit by 37 per cent.

The big four banks were mixed, with Westpac six cents lower at $31.58, NAB rose two cents to $31.58, Commonwealth fell seven cents to $76.36 and ANZ was four cents lower at $28.53.

Cash Converters shares were 11 per cent lower at 44.5 cents after a $23 million law suit settlement and a massive UK restructure plunged the company to a $21.7 million annual loss.


* At the close on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 30.3 points, or 0.58 per cent, higher at 5,263.6 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 32.1 points, or 0.61 per cent, at 5,274.7.

* The September share price index futures contract was 51 points higher at 5,236, with 36,616 contracts traded.

* The price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1130.1 per fine ounce, up $US2.60 on Thursday's price of $US1,127.50.

* National turnover was 2.1 billion securities worth $7.8 billion.

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