Shares post solid gains on retail surge

The Australian share market is trading near a 21-month, high with healthcare, banking and retail stocks driving gains.

The All Ordinaries index was up 19 points to 4,852, and the ASX 200 index was also 0.4 per cent stronger at 4,829 around 2:00pm (AEDT).

Shares in Westpac were leading the big four banks higher, up 1.2 per cent.

The small retailer Specialty Fashion Group has rallied 37 per cent to 96 cents after saying it will treble its profit in the first half.

That positive news for one clothing retailer has helped drive others higher, particularly the comments on lower cotton prices and a higher Australian dollar helping to drive down purchase costs from suppliers.

The owner of Bonds, Pacific Brands, was up 5.6 per cent to 66 cents.

Premier Investments, which owns the Just clothing group, was up 2.1 per cent, David Jones was 2.7 per cent higher and Myer was ahead 1.6 per cent to $2.48.

Resmed, which makes products to treat sleep disorders, has jumped 6.1 per cent after reporting its quarterly profit rose by a quarter.

However, many miners were a little weaker: BHP Billiton was down 0.4 per cent; Rio Tinto was flat at $66.29; and Fortescue was off 1.1 per cent to $4.58.

Telstra was up 0.7 per cent to $4.59.

The Australian dollar had lost around a cent against the greenback since this time yesterday, and was buying 104.45 US cents.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9293+0.0006+0.07%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5536+0.0001+0.02%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6723+0.0002+0.03%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg