Aust share market closes higher
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The Australian share market has closed higher as investors continued to feel optimistic despite weaker manufacturing data from China.
On Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 37.7 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 5,055.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 36 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 5,072.7 points.
On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was up 49 points at 5,042 points, with 27,019 contracts traded.
CMC markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said the market continued to show the strength it had demonstrated over the last two months.
The market had not broken down after a big drop last Thursday, and money was continuing to come into the market as investors chased yields.
Investors appeared to believe that Thursday's drop was as big a correction as they were going to see.
"I think that's the driving force," Mr Spooner said.
He said investors had looked past weaker manufacturing data from China, which was released on Monday.
He said the market had remained firm as investors await the outcome of the elections in Italy and the testimony to the US Congress later this week by US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.
On the local market on Monday, Ten Network firmed two cents to 31.5 cents as market players expressed hope that new management may improve the struggling free-to-air broadcaster's performance.
Oil refiner Caltex Australia jumped 43 cents to $18.67 as it returned to profitability and said it will still easily find enough fuel to satisfy customers despite closing a refinery.
Pie maker Patties Foods dumped 13.5 cents to $1.565 after its first half profit fell 16.5 per cent in the face of increased competition.
Beach Energy strengthened 7.5 cents to $1.37 after Chevron Australia announced it will take a stake in two gas exploration sites in the Cooper Basin.
The price of gold in Sydney was $US1,586.15 per fine ounce, down 32.5 US cents on Friday's closing price of $US1,586.475.
National turnover was 2.06 billion securities worth $4.35 billion, with 536 stocks up, 462 down and 368 unchanged.