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Energy, mining stocks lift share market

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Published on: Thursday, January 28, 2016

MELBOURNE, AAP - The Australian share market has recovered from a negative start to gain ground, led by energy and mining stocks. A weak lead from Wall Street and momentum from Wednesday's fall was responsible for the poor start to trade, CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said. But guidance from US markets can be misleading given US investors are mostly focused on company earnings at this time of year, he said.

Apple reported a disappointing result, but Facebook exceeded expectations after the market had closed.

Prices of oil and other commodities also strengthened overnight.

"We saw some buying returning to the mining and energy sectors and that, together with a re-assessment of what really happened in the US, may have turned sentiment around a bit here today," Mr Spooner said.

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum jumped 38 cents to $26.37, Santos rose six cents to $2.94, BHP Billiton added nine cents to $15.10 and Rio Tinto ascended 82 cents to $38.93. Fortescue Metals surged six cents, or 4.1 per cent, to $1.52, after it said it expects production costs to be lower than previously forecast, and plans to use the savings to continue paying of its debt.

Westpac gained 15 cents to $30.48, Commonwealth Bank improved 23 cents to $77.83, National Australia Bank gained 20 cents at $27.10, and ANZ put on 36 cents at $24.04.

Rail and ports operator Asciano rose 34 cents, or four per cent, to $8.84 after a consortium led by stevedore Qube Holdings made a binding takeover proposal for Asciano.

Law firm Slater and Gordon tumbled 10.5 cents, or 14.3 per cent, to 63 cents after it backtracked on its plan to issue a cashflow update.

Jewellery retailer Lovisa plunged $1.31, or 35.6 per cent, to $2.37 after issuing a flat full year earnings forecast.


* At 1623 AEDT, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 29.8 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 4,976.2 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 27.3 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 5,028.1 points.

* The March share price index futures contract was up seven points at 4,922 points, with 37,218 contracts traded.

* Preliminary national turnover was 2.1 billion securities traded worth $4.9 billion.

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