Stocks edge up in first gain for five days

THE sharemarket has regained a little lost ground, driven by a rebound in resource and finance stocks, on hopes that China will take steps to stimulate growth and after world leaders reaffirmed they wanted Greece to stay in the eurozone.

THE sharemarket has regained a little lost ground, driven by a rebound in resource and finance stocks, on hopes that China will take steps to stimulate growth and after world leaders reaffirmed they wanted Greece to stay in the eurozone.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 27.1 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4073.6, its first rise in five sessions.

The gains were led by a 1.6 per cent rise in the materials sector and a 0.6 per cent recovery by financials. Energy inched up 0.1 per cent while industrials slipped 0.2 per cent.

G8 leaders meeting at the weekend vowed to take all necessary steps to combat financial turmoil, though they offered no specific prescription for Greece, which will hold fresh elections next month.

Lonsec senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said: "We overdid it on Friday and now we are rebounding with the lead that we got from overseas, in that it looks like the Greek situation is not going to be Armageddon."

IG Markets strategist Stan Shamu said there would need to be more positive days before some investors returned to the market.

"It just seems like investors are happy to stay on the sidelines until we start seeing some traction after the recent selloff," Mr Shamu said in a research note. "Last week's 5.3 per cent drop was more than enough to spook investors, and a couple of successive sessions of gains might be the best way to lure investors from the sidelines."

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto led gains, after being heavily sold off last week on fears that the turmoil in Europe would weigh on demand for commodities. Resource stocks were also helped by calls on Sunday from China's leadership for efforts to support growth.

BHP climbed 64?, or 2 per cent, to $32.10 while goldminer Newcrest advanced 47?, or 1.9 per cent, to $25.50.

"If China says yes to more easing, then bang, the resources stocks are going to be up," said Mr Heffernan.

NAB was the best performer among the big banks, rising 28? to $23.60.

Qantas finished steady at $1.43 after announcing it would axe more than 500 jobs in Victoria, saving it up to $100 million a year.

Shares in printer PMP gained 3?, or more than 8 per cent, to 40?, after it confirmed that ticketing and labelling group TMA was behind a takeover bid worth up to $250 million.

Elders was down 0.5? at 20?. The company said the outlook for agriculture was positive and that a large tax win had helped it return to profitability.

The dollar drifted off its lows and finished the Australian session at US98.36?, helped by firmer reNATIONAL TRADE RISES FALLS STEADY TOTALIndustrial 230 278 147 655 Mining 228 252 205 685 TOTAL 458 530 352 1340

NATIONAL TURNOVER VOLUME VALUE($)Industrial 690,193,626 2,970,031,744 Mining 863,665,713 1,655,835,188 TOTAL 1,553,859,339 4,625,866,932

MOST ACTIVE ISSUESBY VOLUMETURNOVERSTOCK(M)Telstra Corp47.39 Environ CT30.14 Dexus Property stp29.55 Otis Energy 27.84 Fortescue Metals 24.36 Sundance Resources 22.84 Focus Minerals 21.54 BlueScope Steel 21.10 Alumina20.95 Republic Gold19.77

BY VALUETURNOVERSTOCK(M)BHP Billiton416.57 Rio Tinto341.44 ANZ 280.94 NAB279.66 CBA260.78 Telstra Corp167.76 Westpac 155.33 Newcrest Mining 115.01 Fortescue Metals 113.29 Woodside Petroleum 83.21

RATESMON % FRI %

Target cash rate 3.75 3.75

Interbank o'night 3.75 3.75

90-day bills 3.53 3.59

RATESMON % FRI %

180-day 3.48 3.65

3-year bonds 2.49 2.45

10-year bonds 3.06 2.98

RATESgional markets.

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