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Local share market closes higher

 

The Australian share market has closed higher, boosted by the mining, energy and banking sectors, ahead of key market-moving US jobs data due overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 58.9 points, or 1.04 per cent at 5,710.7 points on Friday, following a positive lead from US markets.

OptionsXpress market analyst Ben Le Brun said it was a very encouraging sign for the Australian market to show some resilience after three days of negative or flat performances.

He said a lift in prices for copper and oil had buoyed mining and energy stocks, but it was hard to say what was driving up the banks.

"The lack of volumes is a big concern, but we've broken the run of outs," Mr Le Brun said.

Trading volumes have been low over the last week, with some states of Australia still on school holidays and the Chinese market also on vacation.

Mr Le Brun said investors were now awaiting the release of US non-farm payroll figures which frequently influence the direction of global markets.

In the mining sector, BHP Billiton advanced 2.0 per cent to $26.61, Rio Tinto jumped 1.8 per cent to $69.25, and Fortesecue Metals gained 0.4 per cent to $5.17.

In the energy sector, Woodside Petroleum climbed 1.6 per cent to $29.03, Santos lifted 2.2 per cent to $4.09, and Oil Search gained two per cent at $7.15.

Oil prices rebounded overnight on the hopes the world's leading oil producers would extend their production limit, pushing local energy companies higher.

Among the big banks, ANZ was 1.3 per cent richer at $29.48, Westpac put on 1.3 per cent at $32.14, National Australia Bank advanced 1.1 per cent to $31.34, and Commonwealth Bank added 1.3 per cent to $76.30.

Following Thursday's gloomy retail spending data, which showed the sharpest monthly decline in more than four years, retail stocks were mixed..

Myer lost 1.3 per cent to 75 cents, JB Hi-Fi dropped 0.9 per cent to $22.61, but Harvey Norman gained one per cent to $3.86.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has lost ground against the US dollar after The Wall Street Journal reported that Reserve Bank of Australia board member Ian Harper isn't ruling out a cut in interest rates.

The US dollar has also strengthened following strong US economic data and comments from Federal Reserve officials about the possibility of one more hike this year and another three next year.

The Aussie was trading at 77.56 US cents at 1630 AEDT, down from 78.27 US cents on Thursday.

ON THE ASX AT 1700 AEDT:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 58.9 points, or 1.04 per cent, at 5,710.7, points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 57.1 points, or one per cent, at 5,777.4 points.

* The SPI200 futures contract was up 63 points, or 1.12 per cent, at 5,697 points.

* National turnover was 2.0 billion securities traded worth $3.7 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 77.64 US cents, from 78.27 on Thursday

* 87.69 Japanese yen, from 88.26 yen

* 66.36 euro cents, from 66.60 euro cents

* 59.35 British pence, from 59.14 pence

* 109.34 NZ cents, from 109.41 cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,268.04 per fine ounce, from $US1,274.24 per fine ounce on Thursday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0008pct, from 1.9792pct on Thursday.

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.7638pct, from 2.7319pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.16 (implying a yield of 2.84pct), from 97.19 (2.81pct) on Thursday

* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.85 (2.15pct), from 97.88 (2.12pct).

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)