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Friday 28

April, 2017 6:20 PM



Demand for banks, miners lift Aust shares

Demand for banks, miners lift Aust shares

The Australian share market is higher at lunch time with investors seemingly keen on financial, mining and utility stocks.

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By AAP 21.04.2017 12:23 PM

The Australian share market is up at lunch time, thanks to a second day of strong investor support for the heavyweight financial sector as well as gains in mining and utility stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 0.58 per cent at midday AEST following better-than-expected US company earnings reports overnight, which led to strong gains on Wall Street.

The local market also benefited from a bounce in iron ore prices following its recent sell-off.

The financials index gained 0.79 per cent, extending Thursday's 0.55 per cent bounce, thanks to the top four banks.

National Australia Bank led the gains, up 1.3 per cent while its three big rivals gained between 0.7 and one per cent.

Mining giants Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortecue Metals also found support, thanks to the price of iron ore rising above the $US65 dollar mark.

Bucking the broader market's trend were energy and consumer exposed stocks, with Woodside Petroleum and Wesfarmers down 1.2 and one per cent, respectively.

Investors thumped soft drinks group Coca-Cola Amatil after its warning of expected lower profit due to weak trading in its Australian beverages unit, with the stock down 9.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is up against the greenback, at 75.31 US cents at 1200 AEST on Friday, compared to 75.20 on Thursday.

ON THE ASX AT 1200 AEST:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 34 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 5,855.4 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 31.6 points, or 0.54 per cent, at 5,886 points.

* The June SPI200 futures contract was up 37 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 5,840 points.

* National turnover was 1.3 billion securities traded worth $1.93 billion at 1210 AEST

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1200 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 75.31 US cents, from 75.20 US cents on Thursday

* 82.27 Japanese yen, from 81.79 yen

* 70.26 euro cents, from 70.02 euro cents

* 58.82 British pence, from 58.62 pence

* 107.68 New Zealand cents, from 106.71 NZ cents

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1200 AEST:

* CGS 5.25 per cent March 2019, 1.653pct from 1.639pct on Thursday

* CGS 4.25pct April 2026, 2.482pct, from 2.454pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.435 (implying a yield of 2.565pct), down from 97.465 (2.535pct) on Thursday

* June 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.180 (1.820pct), down fractionally from 98.190 (1.810pct).

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session)

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