Mining base metals lift market

Published in the Canberra Times, April 2010

The Australian sharemarket closed higher on Thursday ahead of the Easter long weekend, driven by training sector gains on the back of firmer base metals prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was tip 32.2 points at 4907.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 32.8 points to 4925.9 points.

Wealth Within chief analyst Dale Gillham said he sensed some indecision in the marketplace ahead of the Reserve Batik of Australia's meeting on interest rates next week.

The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1113.25 per fine ounce, tip $US5.75 on Wednesday's closing price of $US1107.50.

CMC Markets analyst David Taylor said many analysts believed the gold price could surpass the $US1226 per ounce mark achieved in early December last year.

"There's talk of interest coming from overseas resource giants as well, which may see further buying activity in the [gold] sector."

Energy stocks were firmer. Woodside rose 2c to $46.92, Oil Search rose 3c to $5.99 and Santos added 9c to $14.75.

Among bank stocks, Westpac was up 9c at $27.93, Commonwealth Bank rose 50c to $56.79, ANZ lost 7c to $25.29 and National Australia Bank rose 13c to $27.65.

The media sector was mixed. Fairfax fell 0.5c to $1.795, Consolidated Media was steady at $3.15, News Corp rose 13c to $18.63 and its non-voting scrip was steady at $15.71.

National turnover was 2.66 billion shares, worth $5.97 billion, with 600 stocks up, 463 down and 343 unchanged.

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