Tuesday, March 27, 2012

australian stock market closed march 27 2012

australian stock market closed march 27 2012 ; The Australian share market closed higher on Tuesday with gains across most sectors after strong leads from the United States.

At the close on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 38.5 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 4,301.3, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 36.4 points, or 0.84 per cent, at 4,391.6.

On the ASX 24, the June share price index futures contract was up 44 points at 4,316, with 27,205 contracts traded.

Wall Street's major indices rallied overnight after US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke signalled the US would keep interest rates low until late 2014 due to problems with unemployment.

Dr Bernanke also hinted at another round of stimulus in the US, which had boost markets including Australia's, said CommSec market analyst Juliette Saly.

Investors had moved away from the US dollar, boosting Australia's currency, while the US share market hit a four-year high, she said.

"That's given a really strong boost to our market," she told AAP.

"It's encouraging we've actually managed to hold on to the gains we saw in early trade.

"The financial sector probably hasn't been performing as well over the last couple of sessions locally, but we've seen a comeback in that space today, it has looked the strongest out of the major sectors today."

ANZ led the big four lenders higher after it gained 37 cents, or 1.62 per cent, to $23.18.

Westpac shares were 1.4 per cent higher at $21.73, Commonwealth Bank gained 38 cents, or 0.77 per cent, to $49.86 and National Australia Bank advanced 25 cents, or 1.02 per cent, to $24.66.

Commodities rallied overnight helping the miners, with gold jumping 2.36 per cent, copper adding 1.85 per cent, and zinc up 0.75 per cent.

Materials stocks were higher, with market heavyweight BHP Billiton lifting 24 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $34.43 and Rio Tinto up 35 cents, or 0.55 per cent, to $64.10.

Rio, the world's third-biggest miner, flagged the prospect of selling off its diamond business.

Australia's largest gold miner, Newcrest Mining, was up 42 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $29.25.

There was negative news in the property sector, when developer Stockland cut its full year earnings guidance because recent interest rate rises had slowed property sales.

Stockland securities were down 14 cents at $3.

Agricultural chemicals supplier Nufarm posted a net profit of $18 million in the six months to January 31, up from $4.4 million a year earlier, but the result did not meet expectations.

Nufarm's stock was 14 cents, or 2.75 per cent, lower at $4.96. The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,690.33 per fine ounce, up $US26.13 from Monday's local close at $US1,664.20.

Market turnover reached 2.39 billion shares worth $4.62 billion, with 557 stocks trading up, 423 down and 419 steady.

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