Aussie stocks stage solid recovery
Market watch top headlines
The Australian share market partially reversed its big sell-off with a solid finish after the Reserve Bank's positive comments about the economy.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 38 points, or 0.76 per cent, at 5,018.1 points on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 38.1 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 5,036.7 points.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was up 25 points at 4,992 points, with 40,219 contracts traded.
The Australian market posted its largest one-day fall in nine months on Thursday amid concerns about the strength of the US economic recovery that led to a sharp sell off on Wall Street.
CMC Markets senior trader Tim Waterer said that despite weak overseas leads, the market bounced back after Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Glenn Stevens' twice yearly speech before the federal parliamentary economics committee.
Mr Stevens said the high Australia dollar had helped offset the surge in investment in the mining industry, which would otherwise have led to higher interest rates.
"Australian investors appear to have dusted themselves off after the heavy fall on Thursday with the ASX200 posting a comeback performance to end the week," Mr Waterer said.
"The relatively rosy tone conveyed by the RBA governor earlier in the day appeared to rub off on investors who re-commenced the search for yield, with the banking stocks again helping to drive the local bourse higher."
Among the miners, BHP Billiton fell 30 cents to $36.87 and Rio Tinto dived 58 cents to $66.72. Fortescue gained three cents to $4.83.
Commonwealth Bank surged 74 cents to $65.55, National Australia Bank jumped 40 cents to $29.82, Westpac gained 38 cents to $29.87 and ANZ added 18 cents to $28.16.
Telstra added six cents to $4.56 and Woolworths jumped 42 cents, or 1.24 per cent, to $34.27.
Billabong shares tumbled five cents, or 5.49 per cent, to 86 cents after the troubled surfwear retailer announced a half loss of $536.6 million and downgraded its underlying earnings.
Oil and gas producer Santos impressed investors enough with positive outlooks for more cashflow from new liquefied natural gas projects to overshadow a fall in net profit, closing up 15 cents at $12.05.
Sims Metal Management was up 57 cents at $11.24 after narrowing its first half loss and announcing the retirement of its chief executive.
National turnover was 1.88 billion securities worth $7.54 billion, with 581 up, 408 down and 367 unchanged.