Aust stocks close at fresh six-year high

Local sharemarket climbs 0.6% in thin trade on buying on defensives, iron ore miners.

The Australian sharemarket has closed stronger in thin trade, printing a fresh six-year closing high as investors bought into defensive stocks and iron ore miners after a rise in the iron ore price.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 34.5 points, or 0.62%, to 5,622.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 34.5 points, or 0.62%, to 5,615.1 points.

The benchmark index reached as high as 5,631.1 points during the day's trade, its highest level since June 2008. 

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said buyers concerned about missing out on a gain of 4% over the month so far dominated the action today.

"However, low volumes, rising option prices, and market leadership from defensive sectors, point to a cautious overall approach from local investors," Mr McCarthy said, adding that property trusts and utilities were in favour.

Overnight, the iron ore price rose to $US95.30 a tonne, sparking buying in iron ore miners, but gold fared worse.

"Gold is under pressure ahead of key US events -- the release of second-quarter GDP and a statement from the US Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee," Mr McCarthy said.

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