Market rises on back of miner's China outlook

The share market has closed up at a three-week high helped by market heavyweight Rio Tinto's upbeat outlook on China.

The All Ordinaries has added two-thirds of a per cent to 4,490 and the ASX 200 matched that gain, up 30 points to 4,478.

Global miner Rio Tinto lifted investor spirits at a briefing today by saying it is cautiously optimistic about a pick-up in growth for its biggest customer, China.

Chief executive Tom Albanese cited a recent string of stronger than expected economic indicators out of the country.

The miner also said it was taking a razor blade to expenditure, aiming to cut more than $5 billion in costs within two years.

BHP Billiton faced investors at its AGM today and was bombarded with questions speculating about the succession planning the company is undertaking, and how much longer chief executive Marius Kloppers has at the top.

Chairman Jac Nasser indicated he was pleased to have Mr Kloppers remain in the top job for some time.

Mr Kloppers said BHP would not be paying any mining tax this year as it is aimed at super profits, but would not commit to any specific outlook.

Official figures out today indicate the Reserve Bank's concerns are being realised and the mining investment boom is going to end sooner and peak lower than previously hoped.

The business investment data for the September quarter shows better than expected mining investment.

But the more important outlook for spending was weaker than hoped, spelling tougher times ahead.

By the close of trade BHP Billiton had added two-thirds of a per cent, Rio Tinto rose 0.9 per cent and Fortescue had added 1.5 per cent.

The major banks were all higher by the close; ANZ led up 1 per cent and NAB added 0.25 per cent.

Shortly before 5:30pm (AEDT) the Australian dollar was buying 104.7 US cents.

On the cross rates it was buying 80.8 Euro cents, 65.3 British pence and 85.9 Japanese yen.

West Texas crude was worth $US86 a barrel and Tapis was flat at $US114.

Spot gold dropped again, down to $US1,719 an ounce.

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