ANZ leads surge to a new five-year high

The sharemarket hit a fresh five-year high as ANZ's $3 billion-plus half-year profit pushed its shares to record levels.

The sharemarket hit a fresh five-year high as ANZ's $3 billion-plus half-year profit pushed its shares to record levels.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 65.4 points, or 1.28 per cent, on Tuesday at 5191.2, matching June 2008. The broader All Ordinaries Index was up 60.3 points, or 1.18 per cent, at 5168.6.

RBS Morgans Brisbane senior client adviser Bill Chatterton said ANZ's 11 per cent increase in its interim dividend was rewarded by investors as its shares soared a record $1.74 to $31.84.

"The market has been searching for yield for some time now, so for a core yield company like ANZ to come out and improve their dividend, it was really what the market wanted to listen to," he said.

ANZ's result pushed up other financial stocks. National Australia Bank surged 92¢ to $34, Commonwealth Bank jumped $1.85 to $73.45, Westpac gained 68¢ to $33.80 and Macquarie Bank added $1.32 to $33.80.

Other high-yielding stocks also performed well. Telstra jumped 5¢ to $4.98 and Qantas also gained 5¢ to $1.90.

Even mining stocks had a positive day, after recent drops.

BHP Billiton closed up 16¢ at $32.70 and Rio Tinto gained 44¢ to $55.80.

Origin Energy managed to close 3¢ higher at $12.32 despite extreme wet weather in Queensland contributing to a fall in quarterly revenue and in production from its oil and gas fields.

However, Whitehaven Coal fell 1¢ to $1.95 after the miner said it was looking to find more cost savings.

The price of gold in Sydney was $US1465.50 an ounce, down $US5 on Monday's close.

The bond market also closed firmer, with a strong rally during the local session overcoming some weakness offshore on Monday.

The June 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.91 (implying a yield of 3.09 per cent), up from Monday's local close of 96.9 (3.1 per cent). The three-year contract was at 97.45 (2.55 per cent), up from 97.44 (2.56 per cent) previously.

Bond prices opened weaker after moving in line with a selloff on US Treasuries in overnight trading, but recovered in local trading.

ANZ head of interest rate research Tony Morriss said investors continued to find local bonds an attractive investment.

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