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Iron ore price helps drive market up

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Published on: Friday, April 21, 2017

The Australian share market has closed higher, boosted by positive overseas leads and a lift in the price of iron ore.

Phillip Capital senior client adviser Michael Heffernan says it wasn't a bad day for the Australian market, which rose by more than 0.5 per cent.

"The pipe-openers from the overseas markets weren't too bad either," Mr Heffernan said.

"And resources (stocks) are like Pavlov's dogs: if there's an increase in the oil price and the iron ore price - bang! - BHP and Rio are up."

Investors gained confidence from better-than-expected US company earnings reports overnight, which led to strong gains on Wall Street.

Also, the iron ore price bounced, rising above the $US65 mark.

In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton was up 1.65 per cent, Rio Tinto lifted 2.68 per cent, and Fortescue Metals surged 5.21 per cent.

Energy stocks were mixed.

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum was off 0.65 per cent, but Santos added 0.84 per cent, and Oil Search gained 0.7 per cent.

Among the banks, Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank rose between 0.53 per cent and 0.98 per cent, led by National Australia Bank.

Soft drinks group Coca-Cola Amatil plunged by 10.52 per cent after it warned of a lower profit as a result of weak trading in its Australian beverages unit.

Retailer Woolworths was up 0.88 per cent.

Woolworths can press ahead with the sale of Masters' property assets after winning a stoush with former US joint-venture partner Lowe's.

Online retailer Kogan.com ascended by 1.77 per cent after it said it expects its full-year earnings to exceed $11.5 million following strong trading momentum in the three months to the end of March.

Energy utility operator DUET Group was 9.45 per cent stronger.

Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board has approved a $7.48 billion takeover offer for DUET by a Hong Kong consortium led by Cheung Kong Infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar lifted against the US dollar as base metals rallied.

The Aussie was at 75.39 US cents at 1630 AEST, compared with 75.20 US cents on Thursday.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 32.7 points, or 0.56 per cent, at 5,854.1 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 31.2 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 5,885.6 points.

* The June SPI200 futures contract was up 34 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 5,837 points at 1630 AEST.

* Preliminary national turnover was 1.85 billion securities traded worth $4.17 billion.


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