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Miners and banks push market higher

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Published on: Tuesday, May 26, 2015

By AAP

The share market has strung together its longest winning streak in almost four months as a rising iron ore price boosted the mining sector.

Both the benchmark S&P/ASX200 and broader All Ordinaries indices rose for a fourth straight session, their longest run of consecutive gains since early February.

It was the heavyweight mining and banking sectors that drove Tuesday's rise, while retailers and healthcare stocks also improved.

"Ratings agencies have responded quite positively to recent measures taken by the banks to shore up capital and control residential investment lending," IG market strategist Stan Shamu said.

"The big miners have also participated in the rally with iron ore's bounce helping to lift sentiment."

The Australian dollar's fall below 80 US cents this week was also providing a tailwind for some market sectors, he said.

A two per cent increase in the iron ore price, plus reports of possible Chinese investor interest in Fortescue Metals, lifted the big miners.

Rio Tinto gained 66 cents to $58.29, BHP Billiton added 34 cents to $29.82 and Fortescue surged 23 cents, or 10.6 per cent, to $2.40.

BlueScope Steel was another strong performer, adding 19 cents, or 5.7 per cent, to $3.53.

Westpac added 69 cents to $33.65, National Australia Bank gained 47 cents to $34.00, ANZ lifted 37 cents to $32.69 and Commonwealth Bank was 64 cents stronger at $84.64.

Poker machine supplier Aristocrat Leisure's shares jumped 51 cents higher to $8.38 after a 35 per cent rise in half year profit.

AGL Energy hit its highest value in eight years after unveiling plans to sell off more than $1 billion worth of assets and cut costs by $200 million within two years.

Its shares gained 99 cents, or 6.4 per cent, to $16.47.

Currency trader OzForex was one of the worst performers, dropping 28 cents, or 10.5 per cent, to $2.38 as its 52 per cent annual profit growth to $24 million missed expectations.

KEY FACTS

  • At 1615 AEST on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 51.9 points, or 0.91 per cent, at 5,773.4 points.
  • The broader All Ordinaries index was up 50.5 points, or 0.88 per cent, at 5,770.4 points.
  • The June share price index futures contract was 52 points higher at 5,778 points, with 20,178 contracts traded.
  • National turnover was 1.7 billion securities worth $4.5 billion.

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