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Afternoon (PM) Market Report

The Australian share market has closed higher for a fifth straight session, led by the mining and energy sectors, after commodity prices jumped on hopes of stronger economic activity in China, and low US oil stocks.

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

The ASX200 index was up 19.6 points, or 0.33 percent at 5,881 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 20 points, or 0.34 percent, at 5,976.3 points.

The mining sector was the standout performer, with BHP Billiton up 2.8 percent to $30.92, despite trimming its full-year iron ore production guidance, Rio Tinto gained 3.1 percent to $81.42, Fortescue Metals added 3.5 percent to $4.71 and South32 was 4.6 percent higher at $3.88. Energy stocks strengthened after oil futures jumped nearly three percent on a report that showed lower-than-expected US crude stocks, and Saudi Arabia signalled that it would prefer the oil price to be closer to $US100 a barrel. Woodside Petroleum added 1.1 percent to $31.06, Oil Search lifted 0.9 percent to $7.77, and Santos gained 0.3 percent to $6.00 despite lowering its full-year production and sales guidance due to the shutdown caused by February's earthquake in Papua New Guinea.

AMP posted its fifth straight fall, dropping 2.9 percent to $4.32, its lowest level since early 2014. National Australia Bank dipped 0.4 percent to $28.33, Westpac also shed 0.4 pe cent to $28.59, Commonwealth Bank dropped one cent to $72.40 and ANZ gained 0.3 percent to $26.71.

Pharmacies operator and health and beauty products retailer Australian Pharmaceutical Industries backtracked 2.3 percent to $1.47 after its half-year profit fell by 14 percent.

Equities / Fixed Interest Close Change % Change 
All Ordinaries 5976 20 0.34
S&P/ASX 200 5881 20 0.33
Currency Close Pts Change % Change 
$A vs $US 0.7804 0.0016 0.21
$A vs GBP 0.5493


$A vs EUR 0.6300 0.0010 0.15
$A vs YEN 83.79 0.22 0.27
$A vs $NZ