Saturday, March 29, 2014

Market rises despite strong dollar

The market rose over the past five sessions despite a stronger dollar putting pressure on exporters, while Australia's largest trading partner China struggles to reform its credit market and rebalance its economy without putting the brakes on growth.

Investor focus has drifted away from the threat to energy and financial market stability caused by continuing political tensions in Europe following Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent calls to suspend it from the G8.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 28.8 points, or 0.5 per cent, over the past week to 5366.9, while the broader All Ordinaries added 0.4 per cent to 4376.8. On Friday the S&P/ASX 200 Index added 16.8 points, or 0.3 per cent, while the All Ordinaries Index gained 17 points, or 0.3 per cent, led by the banks.

Gains in the biggest banks and resource stocks combined to lift the market over the past five sessions. Westpac lifted 2.4 per cent to $34.43. Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank each rose 1.9 per cent to $77.14 and $35.32 respectively. ANZ added 1.8 per cent to $32.82.

BHP Billiton rose 1.6 per cent to $36.14 while Rio Tinto added 3 per cent to $63.24 despite dipping on Thursday as it was revealed the $US6 billion Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper project in Mongolia is likely to be delayed another four months.

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group rose 7.1 per cent to $5.34 as the spot price for iron ore, landed in China, gained $US1.60 a tonne to $US112.30.

Premier Investments was the best-performing stock in the ASX 200, climbing 20.7 per cent to $9.61, after the retail group beat expectations to report a 12.1 per cent rise in first-half net profit.

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