Miners lead the way as stocks edge higher

Stocks rebounded on Tuesday to post modest gains, led by the big miners. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 12.5 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 4900.8. The All Ordinaries rose 0.27 per cent to 4886.7.

Stocks rebounded on Tuesday to post modest gains, led by the big miners. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 12.5 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 4900.8. The All Ordinaries rose 0.27 per cent to 4886.7.

Bargain hunters targeted resource companies that had been heavily sold lately, but other sectors, including the banks, also posted small gains.

The market had fallen more than 6 per cent in the past fortnight before Tuesday's quarter of a percentage point gain.

The Reserve Bank's decision to leave interest rates on hold had a slightly negative effect on stocks.

Among materials stocks, BHP Billiton rose 17¢ to $34.26, Rio Tinto posted a $1.33 gain to $55.13 and Fortescue shot up 20¢ to $3.46.

ANZ lifted 6¢ to $27.91, Commonwealth Bank gained 23¢ to $67.15, while National Australia Bank was the best performer, improving 31¢ to $29.61. Westpac was 5¢ weaker at $28.85.

Billabong lost $100 million in capitalisation and closed 45.6 per cent down at 22.5¢ after another takeover bid for the troubled retailer collapsed. It has downgraded earnings by 10 per cent.

The biggest losers were in consumer staples, including Wesfarmers, which shed 45¢ to $38.91, and Woolworths, down 16¢ to $32.55.

Bond futures prices fell after the central bank kept the cash rate unchanged at 2.75 per cent.

The June 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.560 (implying a yield of 3.440 per cent), down from 96.575 (3.425 per cent) on Monday. The three-year contract was at 97.330 (2.670 per cent), down from 97.360 (2.640 per cent).

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens said the rate cuts were helping the weaker parts of the economy, but kept the door open for more reductions.

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