Overseas news buoys investor sentiment

The sharemarket enjoyed a bumper day, closing almost 1 per cent higher on positive overseas leads.

The sharemarket enjoyed a bumper day, closing almost 1 per cent higher on positive overseas leads.

At the close on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index was 71.3 points, or 1.45 per cent, higher at 4976.8.

The broader All Ordinaries Index was 67.5 points, or 1.37 per cent, higher at 4980.2.

The June share price index futures contract was up 58 points at 4969, with 27,027 contracts traded.

Lower than expected inflation in China in March appears to have convinced traders that the central bank there might not need to slow the economy.

The local market was already posting gains before that news, taking its lead from expectations for an improved company earnings season in the US and moves by Japan to stimulate its economy.

"Even though our markets had the wobbles a bit recently, there's still quite a lot of latent buying and people looking to get into this market once it starts to move," CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said.

Most sectors did well, such as banks, insurers, miners and energy stocks, with defensive healthcare companies an exception.

Miners gained from the good economic news from important customers including China and Japan. BHP Billiton was up by more than 1 per cent for a second consecutive day, rising 45¢ to $33.11 and Rio Tinto was $1.89, or 3.5 per cent, higher at $56.73.

Ten Network lifted 2¢ to 31.5¢ despite the broadcaster posting a $243.3 million first-half loss.

Africa-focused iron ore hopeful Sundance Resources plunged 10¢, or 47.6 per cent, to 11¢ after coming out of a three-week trading halt.

Sundance revealed late on Monday that it had ended talks with Hanlong Mining after the Chinese company ran into problems financing a $1.3 billion takeover deal.

The price of gold in Sydney was $US1575.85 an ounce, down $US3.40 on Monday's closing price of $US1579.25.

National turnover was 1.91 billion securities worth $5.49 billion.

Meanwhile, the dollar is back above US104¢, thanks to weakness in the greenback and softer Chinese inflation figures.

At 5pm on Tuesday, the dollar was at US104.24¢, up from US103.79¢ on Monday.

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