Market closes at 4.5 year high

Better than expected company results helped the share market to close at a fresh four-and-a-half year high today.

The All Ordinaries added 18 points to 5,102, while the ASX 200 matched that gain, closing at 5,082.

Coca Cola Amatil suffered a 22 per cent fall in full-year profit to $450 million, dragged down by the strong Australian dollar and weakness in its tinned food business.

It has offered shareholders a special dividend of 3.5 cents to offset the part franking of its increased 59.5 cent dividend.

Shares in the company rose 2 per cent.

Steel and mining company Arrium, formerly known as OneSteel, battled on with another $500 million loss for the half year due to asset writedowns, taxes and restructuring costs.

But underlying profit came in at $51 million, matching the prior result.

Shares in the company were down 2 per cent.

BHP Billiton rose 0.9 per cent ahead of its first-half results, which are due tomorrow morning.

Shares in Rio Tinto were down 0.5 per cent.

The Reserve Bank's minutes from its February meeting were released today, however the wow factor was taken out of them by last week's release of the Statement on Monetary Policy.

The Australian dollar rose slightly on the the back of the release, with economists tipping there will not be an interest rate cut for several months.

Shortly before 5:00pm (AEDT) the Australian dollar was at 103.25 US cents, 77.3 euro cents, 66.7 British pence and 96.6 Japanese yen.

West Texas crude closed just above $US95 a barrel, while tapis was higher at $US123.

Spot gold was up to $US1,613 an ounce.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9334-0.0034-0.37%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5557-0.0021-0.37%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6752-0.0029-0.43%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg