Mining Stocks, End of Quarter Buying by Local Fund Managers Push Australian Market Higheradmin
Mining stocks helped push the Australian stock market higher Friday along with end of quarter buying by local fund managers.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 40.2 points to 5,154.1, and the All Ordinaries index added 37.5 points to 5,113.
Anglo Australian mining giant BHP Billiton jumped 1 percent, or 25 cents, to A$25.63, rival Rio Tinto climbed 65 cents at A$70.10 and Zinifex gained 30 cents to A$11.75.
BHP was helped when it struck a price with participating copper smelters, said ABN Amro Morgan client adviser Margaret Morrissey. She also said that end of September quarter “window dressing” by fund managers contributed to the strong finish for the week.
Window-dressing occurs when mutual funds or institutional buyers sell losing stocks and buy high-fliers, mainly blue chips, at the end of a month or quarter to inflate their portfolio values and performance.
Morrissey said the market had also been encouraged by continuing global growth with home sales data in the United States better than expected.
Retail stocks were mixed with takeover target Coles Myer falling 30 cents to A$14.39 as uncertainty surrounds the next move by the corporate raider syndicate led by U.S. private equities firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Woolworths, which took a 10 percent stake in New Zealand discount variety retailer The Warehouse Group this week, added 8 cents to A$20.26 while upscale department store David Jones gave back 5 cents to A$3.49.
The financial services sector was strong with the Commonwealth Bank performing best among the biggest four banks with a 62 cent gain to A$45.75.
National Australia Bank improved 36 cents to A$36.70, Westpac Bank was 16 cents richer at A$22.71 and ANZ Bank added 6 cents to A$26.86.