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Aust stocks close higher after gains in materials, energy =3D2

24 Nov 2008 4:43 PM


S&PASX200 +8.6 3425.1 Dow Jones +494.13 8046.42

All Ords +1.9 3388.8 S&P 500 +47.59 800.03

SPI contract +24.0 3456.0 Nasdaq +68.23 1384.35

GoldUSoz +41.90 791.35 Nikkei +207.75 7910.79

$AUSD +.0081 0.6295 NZSE-50 -2.619 2575.482

SYDNEY, Nov 24 AAP - The Australian share market ended on Monday in positive territory, with weakness in the financials offset by gains in the materials and energy sectors.

At the 1615 AEDT close, the benchmark S&PASX200 index was up 8.6 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 3425.1 while the broader All Ordinaries had lifted 1.9 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 3388.8.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the December share price index futures contract was up 24 points at 3456 points on volume of 35,370 contracts.

IG Markets research analyst Ben Potter said the local market was expected to post gains after Wall Street ended last week with a strong rally.

Mr Potter said senitment toward local financial sector had been dented by troubled Babcock & Brown (B&B) and Citigroup in the US.

"Citigroup is hanging over the financials, in addition to the B&B matter."

"It looks definitely like it was the materials sector that was putting in most of the gains."

Investment manager B&B has extended a share suspension, as it tries to resolve a dispute will a bank about a deposit release. B&B shares last traded at 25 cents.

In the US, the US government was weighing a plan on Sunday to rescue Citigroup, whose stock has been hammered on worries about its financial health.

In the local financial sector, Commonwealth Bank dropped 73 cents to30.22, National Australia Bank shed 20 cents to18.80, ANZ was down 46 cents to12.90, while Westpac was up 15 cents to $16.50.

Suncorp-Metway shares fell 21 cents, or 3.04 per cent, to6.70 despite raising its full-year bank profit forecast as traders focussed on insurance claims related to recent storms in Queensland.

Resources giant BHP Billiton was up1.48, or 6.76 per cent, at $23.38, while and Rio Tinto fell 21 cents to59.80.

Stock Move Price

AMP +0.010 5.300

ANZ Bank -0.460 12.900

BHPBilton +1.480 23.380

CBA -0.730 30.220

NAB -0.200 18.800

NewsCorp +0.520 10.490

Polartech - .070

Rio Tinto -0.210 59.800

TelstraCp +0.050 4.030

WestpacBk +0.150 16.500

Woolwrths -0.550 25.000


Woodside Petroleum added1.07, or 3.69 per cent, to $30.07, Santos rose45 cents, or 3.59 per cent, to13.00 and Oil Search gained 14 cents, or 3.23 per cent, to4.47.

At 1636 AEDT, spot gold in Sydney was trading atUS791.75 an ounce, up $US42.30 on Friday's Sydney close ofUS749.45.

Gold miners posted some of the largest gains of the day as a result.

Lihir Gold soared 33 cents, or 18.33 per cent, to2.13, Newmont added 68 cents, or 17.89 per cent, to4.48, and Newcrest gained $2.14, or 9.97 per cent, to23.60.

In media, Fairfax Media fell seven cents, or five per cent, to1.33, but News Corp picked up 52 cents, or 5.22 per cent, to10.49 and its non-votingscrip rose 62 cents, or 6.54 per cent, to10.10.

Seven was two cents lower at5.08 and Ten fell four cents to $1.01.