InvestSMART

European debt deal perks up shares

THE sharemarket closed more than 1 per cent higher, bolstered by a new deal in Europe to manage the sovereign debt crisis.

THE sharemarket closed more than 1 per cent higher, bolstered by a new deal in Europe to manage the sovereign debt crisis.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended the trading session 46.9 points up at 4602.9, while the All Ordinaries index rose 47.9 points to 4674.1.

An RBS Morgans private client adviser, Bill Bishop, said the market was lifted by news that euro zone leaders had stitched up a deal to support debt-riddled member states.

The leaders of 17 European countries and the International Monetary Fund have agreed to give Greece a second bailout worth ?109 billion ($145 billion), on top of the ?110 billion already granted a year ago.

National Australia Bank was the biggest mover, up 62?, or 2.52 per cent, at $25.22. Commonwealth Bank was up 78?, or 1.57 per cent, at $50.52, following the appointment of Ian Narev as its new chief executive to replace Ralph Norris. ANZ rose 47?, or 2.21 per cent, to $21.73, and e Westpac rose 46?, or 2.18 per cent, to $21.60.

BHP Billiton fell 15? to $43.43. The spot price of gold in Sydney closed at $US1588.10 per fine ounce, down $US16.50 from Thursday's close of $US1604.60. Gold miner Newcrest's shares were 58 cents lower at $40.02.

Wesfarmers rose 37?, or 1.2 per cent, to $31.21, while Woolworths rose 21?, or 0.76 per cent, to $27.84, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission cleared it of predatory pricing for selling its house-brand milk at a discount.

News Corp stocks fell after James Murdoch was accused of misleading British MPs over how much he knew of phone hacking at News of the World. News shares were down 28?, or 1.81 per cent, at $15.20.

Shares in Austar United Communications plummeted after the competition watchdog said Foxtel's takeover bid for it could substantially lessen competition. Austar shares finished down 21?, or 16.22 per cent lower, at $1.085.


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