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Miners drive market to unexpected gains


Strength in the resources sector is helping the share market buck the negative trend set by overseas traders.

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Wall Street and many European markets fell overnight in reaction to the prospect of a rate hike in the US as early as June, and commodity prices also weakened.

But miners were among the better performers on the local market, with Rio Tinto up 1.3 per cent, BHP Billiton up 0.5 per cent and gold miner Newcrest up one per cent.

Consumer related stocks were another area of strength, with Webjet up seven per cent after it forecast strong growth in bookings and market share, while Flight Centre had added 4.4 per cent.

The big four banks were mixed, with ANZ higher, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank relatively flat, and NAB lower.


* At 1200 AEST on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 16.3 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 5,339.6 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 17.3 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 5,402.9 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was up one point at 5,346 points, with 13,415 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 1.3 billion securities traded, worth $1.56 billion.


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