Share market continues its high

The share market has continued its upward climb, touching a near 21-month high on gains in bank and energy shares.

The All Ordinaries index pushed higher at the close of trade to finish up 0.5 per cent at 4,834, while the ASX 200 matched that rise to 4,810.

The rush of quarterly results from the resources sector continued and results were varied.

Australia's biggest gold miner Newcrest expects its full-year gold production to come in at the lower end of guidance.

Newcrest recorded a 15 per cent decline in fourth-quarter gold production but its shares rose 1.8 per cent to $23.98.

Copper and gold miner Oz Minerals is forecasting a drop in copper production this year after it also recorded a fall in fourth-quarter output.

Oz Minerals shares tumbled 6.3 per cent to $6.85.

But Australia's third biggest iron ore miner has reported a large jump in production for the same period.

Fortescue Metals says iron ore shipments surged by 32 per cent to 19.6 million tonnes compared with the year before.

The result was in line with analysts' expectations but FMG's shares reversed, down about 0.6 per cent.

Shares in the other top iron ore miners were mixed, with BHP Billiton rising 0.3 per cent while Rio Tinto lost 0.25 per cent.

Bank shares were buoyant and NAB and Westpac fared the best, both adding 1.3 per cent.

Telstra was still on the up, rising 1.1 per cent to $4.46.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has lowered its economic growth forecast for this year as Europe continues to drag on the global economy.

The fund now expects world growth of 3.5 per cent, down from 3.6 per cent forecast three months ago.

About 5pm (AEDT) spot gold was lower at $US1,679 an ounce, West Texas crude oil had fallen to just over $US95 a barrel and Tapis crude was worth $US119.60 a barrel.

The Australian dollar was buying 105.1 US cents, 79 euro cents, 93.9 Japanese yen and 66.4 British pence.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9275-0.009-0.96%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5519-0.0047-0.85%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6716-0.0068-1.00%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg