Aust share market closes higher
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The Australian share market has closed higher, with investors encouraged by the recent strength of global markets.
On Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 53.8 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 4,889.0 points - its highest close since April 2011.
The broader All Ordinaries index was up 51.9 points, or 1.07 per cent, to 4,910.8 points.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was 21 points higher at 4,854 points, with 31,274 contracts traded.
CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said investors had been buoyed in recent days by better-than-expected manufacturing data from Germany; European stock markets reaching new highs; good company earnings reports out of the United States, especially Caterpillar; and rallies on the Chinese market on Monday.
"So we're getting a tick in every major global region at the moment," Mr McCarthy said.
"And, added to that we've got that local factor: the fear of missing out (on the market's move upward)."
Mr McCarthy said defensive stocks - those offering higher yields - had led the local bourse higher on Tuesday.
Among the major banks, Westpac rose 67 cents to $28.22, Commonwealth Bank lifted $1.14 to $64.73, National Australia Bank found 48 cents at $27.72, and ANZ advanced 44 cents to $26.51.
Some insurance stocks fell as insurers began to feel the pain from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald, with more than 10,000 claims lodged and the damage bill set to rise above $100 million.
Suncorp descended 21 cents to $10.70 as it said it had so far received about 4,500 claims and expects more to come as floodwaters in some areas of Queensland and NSW yet to peak.
Insurance Australia Group nudged up one cent to $4.93, and QBE dropped 31 cents to $11.28.
In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton improved seven cents to $37.17, and Rio Tinto firmed nine cents to $66.15.
Coal miner Yancoal was steady at 93 cents after it said one of its open-cut mines in Queensland had been flooded and production would be impacted for at least three weeks.
Lakes Oil gained 0.2 cents to 0.6 cents as mining billionaire Gina Rinehart snared a major stake in veteran oil and gas explorer.
Oil Search stepped forward nine cents to $7.20 as it produced 6.38 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in 2012, which the company said was within its guidance range.
Oil and gas producer Beach Energy climbed two cents to $1.40 as it said it still expects to meet its full year production targets despite a fall in the second quarter of the financial year.
The price of gold in Sydney was $US1,661.295 per fine ounce, down $US7.885 on Friday's closing price of $US1,669.18.
National turnover was 1.9 billion securities worth $5.07 billion, with 571 stocks up, 435 down and 367 unchanged.