Aust stocks close higher

Local market continues run of gains after Chinese manufacturing figures beat forecasts.

The Australian sharemarket has continued its run of gains, closing in the green for the fifth straight trading day to print another fresh six-year high after activity in China's manufacturing sector reached its highest point in 18 months.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 11.1 points, or 0.2%, to 5,587.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 9.8 points, or 0.18%, to 5,576.8 points. The benchmark index is now at its highest point since June 2008.

CMC Markets sales trader Betty Lam noted the Chinese data's boost to the resources sector, after the HSBC flash China manufacturing purchasing managers' index topped forecasts to rise to 52 points in July, compared with 50.7 in June.

"The miners received immediate gratification as did the Australian dollar," Ms Lam said.

"This provided the ASX200 with a 10 point bolster following the news."

Elsewhere in resources stocks, Ms Lam also noted heavy selling pressure for Australia's largest gold miner, Newcrest, after the group flagged an asset impairment of up to $2.5 billion.

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