Banks, miners drive market higher

The share market has ended the week on a high note, led by gains in bank and mining shares.

Investors looked past weak leads from Wall Street overnight to see the local market return to near-22 month highs.

The All Ordinaries rose by 0.8 per cent to 4,942, and the ASX 200 advanced by 0.9 per cent to 4,921.

The major mining stocks were helped by another rise in the price of iron ore.

BHP Billiton rose by 1.2 per cent to $37.92 and Rio Tinto gained 1.33 per cent.

NAB was the strongest of the major banks.

It jumped 2.33 per cent to $28, while the other big banks all rose at least 0.66 per cent.

Shares in outdoor clothing chain Kathmandu rallied by 4.5 per cent to close at $1.85 after the company boosted its guidance for first-half profits.

Virgin Australia shares fell 1.2 per cent after it announced that shareholders of Tiger Airways had approved Virgin's bid for a 60 per cent stake in Tiger's Australian operations.

The deal must also be approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Telstra shares rose by 1.1 per cent to $4.65.

The Australian Industry Group's latest Performance of Manufacturing Index in the industry.

The RP Data Home Value Index , led by gains in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Canberra.

Bureau of Statistics figures show the producer price index, which measures the prices businesses pay for goods, rose by 0.2 per cent in the December quarter, which was less than expected.

Domestic prices rose by more than 1 per cent in the period, but this was offset by a 1.7 per cent .

Meanwhile spot gold has settled back to to $US1,662 an ounce, West Texas crude oil has slipped to $US97.70 a barrel and Tapis crude has edged up to $US122.20 a barrel.

The dollar has slipped against most major currencies except the yen, since figures on .

Around 5:00pm AEDT it was buying 104 US cents, 76.4 euro cents, 95.9 Japanese yen and 65.5 British pence.

Market Data

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