Higher iron ore, oil prices propel ASX
The Australian share market has rebounded from early losses to close higher, driven by gains in the price of iron ore and oil.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished up 25.8 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 6,666.3 points at 1615 AEST on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 26.9 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,743.
"Today the market has done well to recover from where we were this morning," said CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian.
The 26-point gain was the biggest move for the ASX this week, with traders apparently noncommittal ahead of a possible US-China trade deal - or not - at this weekend's G20 summit in Japan.
Thursday's gains would have been stronger but the property sector was down a collective 2.2 per cent as many trusts traded ex-dividend.
"A sea of red in that sector," Mr Daghlian said.
One exception was Westfield operator Scentre Group, which was up 1.5 per cent to $3.97 after announcing it had sold three Sydney CBD office towers for $1.52 billion - a 16 per cent annual rate of return - and announcing an $800 million share buyback.
The biggest gains came in the mining sector, up 1.5 per cent as a whole, and energy stocks, up 1.1 per cent, as the price of crude and iron ore rose overnight.
Mining giant BHP was up 1.9 per cent to $41.95 - close to its all-time high of $42.18 - while Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto were both at 11-year highs, up 5.5 per cent to $9.18 and three per cent to $106.26, respectively.
Rare earth miner Lynas Corp was up 0.4 per cent to $2.61 after announcing a 10-year extension to its loan facility from a Japanese lender.
Among energy stocks, Caltex Australia was up 3.7 per cent to $25, Oil Search gained 1.1 per cent to $7.20 and energy industry engineering firm WorleyParsons gained 4.6 per cent to $15.06.
The big banks were all higher led by Commonwealth, which was up one per cent to $83.
ANZ gained 0.8 per cent to $28.38, Westpac was up 0.4 per cent to $28.14 and NAB was up 0.2 per cent to $26.75.
Telstra gained one per cent to $3.86 while CSL dropped 0.3 per cent to $215.19.
Sonic Healthcare was down 0.3 per cent to $27.25 after the medical diagnostics firm said it was selling its 85 per cent stake in German lab tech firm GLP Systems.
Xero was down 0.4 per cent to $60.75 after the cloud accounting software firm announced former Telstra CEO David Thodey was joining its board.
Bravura Solutions and GBST Holdings were both up after financial software company Bravura sweetened its bid for rival GBST to $3 a share, up from $2.50.
Bravura gained 1.8 per cent to $5.09 while GBST shares were up 3.57 per cent to $2.90.
In cryptocurrency, the price of Bitcoin dipped 3.9 per cent after nine days of gains.
On Sydney exchange the Independent Reserve, Bitcoin was selling for $A17.602, or $US12,293.
The Aussie dollar is buying 69.94 US cents, from 69.75 US cents on Wednesday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 25.8 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 6,666.3 points at 1630 AEST on Thursday.
* The All Ordinaries was up 26.9 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,743.
* At 1630 AEST, the SPI200 futures index was flat at 6,603.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 69.94 US cents, from 69.75 US cents
* 75.57 Japanese yen, from 74.96 yen
* 61.54 euro cents, from 61.41 cents
* 55.11 British pence, from 55.05 pence
* 104.72 NZ cents, from 104.77 cents
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