Australian shares hit 11-week high

The share market has closed at an 11-week high as investors continue to pin their hopes on more stimulus from central banks in the US and Europe this week.

The All Ordinaries index finished 0.5 per cent, or 22 points, higher at 4,289, and the ASX 200 rose 23 points to 4,269.

The major miners boosted trade, amid hopes that any action by central banks will boost demand for commodities.

BHP Billiton added 1 per cent to $31.93 and Rio Tinto rose 1.7 per cent to $53.20.

The big four banks all posted solid results with the exception of Westpac, which fell back 0.3 per cent to $23.30 after spending most of the day in positive territory.

The Commonwealth Bank reached a two-year high of $57.53 as investors take cover in high-yield stocks.

Telstra, another stock popular for its yield, extended its run of gains - the company's shares rose 0.5 per cent to hit $4, which is a three and a half year high.

Qantas remains on the ascent, adding 3.6 per cent to $1.14.

Shares in grocery wholesaler, Metcash, rose 1.8 per cent to $3.41.

Metcash says it is now the sole owner of hardware chain, Mitre 10.

The company says it paid nearly $47 million to raise its stake from around 50 per cent to 100 per cent.

Currencies and commodities The Australian dollar remains strong, extending overnight gains after building approvals data beat expectations.

Around 5:20pm (AEST) it was buying 105.12 US cents and 85.64 euro cents.

It was also buying 82.2 Japanese yen and 66.98 British pence.

West Texas crude oil slipped to just under $US90 a barrel, and Tapis crude also eased slightly to $US109.30 a barrel.

Spot gold was treading water at $US1,622 an ounce.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9263-0.0024-0.26%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5513-0.0022-0.39%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6697-0.0024-0.36%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg