Stocks close higher as miners bounce back
Market watch top headlines
The Australian share market has closed higher as investors gain enough confidence to pick up beaten-down stocks, especially in the mining sector.
On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 35.5 points, or 0.82 per cent, to 4,361.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 34.8 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 4,383.1 points.
On the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was 40 points higher at 4,364 points, with 27,252 contracts traded.
"We're continuing to see a bounce," City Index chief market analyst Peter Esho said.
"I think some of the really beaten-down and discarded stocks in the mining sector are continuing to have a nice bounce upward."
Mr Esho said investors were awaiting the outcome of a two-day policy meeting by the US Federal Reserve on Friday morning, Australian time. Investors expect the Fed will take new steps to try to boost the US economy.
Furthermore, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has hinted at new stimulus measures to boost flagging growth in the Chinese economy.
The market is also awaiting news from Germany of a ruling on the constitutional validity of Berlin participating in a permanent bailout fund for the euro zone, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which is expected to be made on Wednesday night.
"China has been slowly drip-feeding the market with projects, a fiscal response and a very strong commitment to support growth, so I think that is providing a floor that has helped the iron ore price," Mr Esho said.
"Europe is now slowly dwindling into a non-issue, or at least not an issue of immediate panic.
"Again that is helping traders think: it's time, perhaps, to be looking for opportunities."
On the local market on Wednesday, among the major banks, ANZ climbed 10 cents to $24.20, Commonwealth Bank ascended 88 cents to $55.06, National Australia Bank added 32 cents to $25.40, and Westpac advanced 38 cents to $23.96.
In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton was 27 cents higher at $32.85 as the company's chairman, Jac Nasser, said the Queensland government's increase of coal royalties was akin to shooting an elite athlete in the foot.
Rio Tinto rose 56 cents to $55.09.
Among other stocks, fish farmer Clean Seas Tuna was 0.4 cents richer at two cents after it said it would reduce its workforce by half and sell off surplus boats in response to shrinking numbers of yellowtail kingfish due to illness.
The price of gold in Sydney was $US1,736.30, up $US5.14 on Tuesday's closing price of $US1,731.16.
National turnover was 1.818 billion securities worth $4.3 billion, with 557 stocks up, 324 down and 377 unchanged.
On Wall Street on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.07 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 13,323.36 points.