Aust stocks hit five-year high

Local market rallies to fresh record as Wall St snaps 5-day losing streak.

The Australian stock market pushed to a fresh five-year high in early trade after Wall Street snapped a five-day losing streak following some solid economic data.

At the 1015 AEST official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.35% higher at 5,312.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 0.34% to 5,306.4 points.

That was the highest point the benchmark index has hit since the week beginning June 23, 2008 when the S&P/ASX200 peaked at 5,334 points.

Wall Street's gains came on the heels of a report that confirmed US second-quarter growth at 2.5%, while weekly jobless claims sank to 305,000.

Materials were mostly stronger.

BHP Billiton edged down 0.04% to $36.335, while rival Rio Tinto lifted 0.44% to $63.67*.

Fortescue Metals added 1.63% to $4.99, Whitehaven Coal put on 0.5% to $2.03 and Newcrest fell 1.94% to $11.65.

In the energy sector, Santos rose 1.17% to $15.61, Oil Search lifted 0.57% to $8.87 and Woodside put on 0.54% to $39.14.

Financials also gained, with the big four banks all in the black.

ANZ Banking Group rose 0.48% to $31.71, while Commonwealth Bank added 0.56% to $73.62.

National Australia Bank increased 0.24 to $35.415 and Westpac Banking Group lifted 0.3% to $33.47.

Investment bank Macquarie Group rose 0.27% to $48.96.

In the insurance sector, QBE rose 0.75% to $14.85, Insurance Australia Group lifted 0.51% to $5.95 and Suncorp added 0.45% to $13.35.

The retail sector was mixed.

Wesfarmers retreated 0.12% to $41.76, while Woolworths fell 0.62% to $35.21.

Myer rose 0.37% to $2.69 and rival David Jones rose 0.67% to $2.99.

Harvey Norman fell 0.62% to $3.23 while JB Hi-Fi rose 0.23% to $21.55.

In media, Fairfax Media fell 1.38% to 55.25 cents, 21st Century Fox lifted 0.77% to $35.43 and News Corp fell 2.53% to $17.75.

Ten Network rallied 1.72% to 29.5 cents and Southern Cross Media lost 0.28% to $1.775, while Seven West rose 0.8% to $2.52.

Blue chip Qantas fell 0.99% to $1.50, while Telstra rose 0.5% to $4.985.

Domestically, no major economic or equities news is expected on Friday.

In Australia, the market on Thursday closed higher boosted by the big mining companies which benefited from a strengthening iron ore price.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 18.6 points, or 0.35%, at 5,294.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 18.1 points, or 0.34%, to 5,288.2 points.

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