Tech, bank stocks perform strongest

The share market has closed higher on a broad rally in most sectors, with the strongest results in technology and bank stocks.

The All Ordinaries Index added 0.4 of a per cent to close at 4,730 and the ASX 200 recorded a similar gain up to 4,708.

Mining stocks wavered through the session but managed to close higher.

BHP Billiton rose 0.2 per cent to $37.58 and Rio Tinto climbed a third of a per cent to $66.81.

Whitehaven Coal, which was the victim of a hoax earlier this week, rose by a third of a per cent to $3.50.

The man at the centre of the incident says the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) .

ASIC is considering legal action after Jonathan Moylan issued a fake media release claiming ANZ bank had pulled funding from one of Whitehaven's mine projects.

Shares in Alumina jumped 4.6 per cent to close at $1.03.

Its US joint venture partner Alcoa has kicked off US earnings season by hitting its fourth-quarter profit target.

It cut costs to offset a fall in aluminium prices.

Bank stocks were mostly higher today, although ANZ lost two-thirds of a per cent to $25.02.

Telstra remained in favour, rising 0.5 per cent to $4.48.

In economic news, Bureau of Statistics figures show retail sales fell 0.1 per cent in November in seasonally adjusted terms.

The market had expected sales to rise.

Department stores struggled on the market today, with David Jones losing 0.4 per cent and Myer dropping 2.7 per cent.

Figures from the housing industry show new home sales have risen for the second month in a row, driven by sales of detached homes.

The Housing Industry Association says total sales of new homes rose by 4.7 per cent in November.

Spot gold was slightly higher at $US1,661 an ounce about 5pm (AEDT) while West Texas crude oil eased to $US93.20 a barrel and Tapis crude was at $US118.90 a barrel.

The Australian dollar dipped after the weak retail sales figures were released but had recovered.

It was buying 105.1 US cents, 80.3 euro cents, 91.9 Japanese yen and 65.4 British pence.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9284-0.0081-0.87%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5533-0.0034-0.60%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6720-0.0064-0.94%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg