Aust stocks eke out fresh high

Local market inches higher as progress on the geopolitical front encourages investors.

The Australian sharemarket nudged to a fresh six-year high today as a slight easing of geopolitical tensions gave comfort to local investors. 

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index inched up 3.4 points, or 0.06%, to 5,543.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index edged up 5.3 points, or 0.1%, to 5,534 points. The last time the benchmark was higher was in June 2008. 

Jitters over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have been weighing on investors' minds, but some progress was made today as the Russian-backed rebels handed over the plane's black boxes to Malaysian authorities.

"It's now just a matter of time before we get more insight on the plight of MH17," IG market analyst Stan Shamu said.

"Pressure seems to have eased a touch and this is giving risk assets some room to move." 

Mr Shamu also noted momentum on Wall Street overnight that carried into Asian trade, after US equities narrowed losses following a speech from President Barack Obama on the Russia situation.

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