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Banks and miners lead a major turnaround

DOMESTIC stocks rose more than 3 per cent yesterday, led by the banks and miners that brought the sharemarket down on Monday.

DOMESTIC stocks rose more than 3 per cent yesterday, led by the banks and miners that brought the sharemarket down on Monday.

Stocks rebounded from their two-year low at the open after European and US markets rallied on speculation European leaders would employ fresh measures to avert a global recession.

To the surprise of market sceptics, the local bourse extended these gains to the close, which the CityIndex chief analyst, Peter Esho, said was a "strong signal" the market had bottomed out from last week's severe losses.

By the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had gained 140.7 points, or 3.6 per cent, to 4004.6, while the broader All Ordinaries index jumped 135.9 points, or 3.5 per cent, to 4063.5. The All Ordinaries closed at 3927.6 on Monday, the lowest since July 2009.

Materials, which closed 3.9 per cent lower on Monday, were the strongest-performing stocks, with the sector rising 4.95 per cent.

The mining giant Rio Tinto gained $3.22, or 5.4 per cent, to $63.42 after it bought several iron ore deposits in the central Pilbara in Western Australia for $32 million, while fellow miner BHP Billiton rose $1.40, or 4.1 per cent, to $35.35.

Australia's biggest gold miner, Newcrest Mining, which was the worst performer among the top 50 companies at the close on Monday, rose $1.56, or 4.8 per cent, to $34.42. The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1651.77 per fine ounce, up $US84.95 from Monday's close.

The local financial sector gained 4.3 per cent with all of the major retail banks ending the day more than 5 per cent higher except Commonwealth Bank, which closed up 3.9 per cent at $45.55. Westpac gained $1.06, or 5.5 per cent, to $20.25.

Telstra rose 2? to $3.06 after it announced it was launching its 4G mobile network. The rare earths minerals explorer Lynas Corporation was the strongest stock of the ASX's top 100 companies, soaring 34.9 per cent to $1.18.

The biopharmaceutical company CSL was the worst-performing stock among the top 100, shedding 1.3 per cent to $2.29. Turnover was 2.34 billion shares changing hands for $6 billion, with almost nine of every 10 stocks rising.


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