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Aust shares hit three month high

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AAP

2013-08-13

The Australian share market has hit a three month high, with investors buoyed by positive local earnings performances and potential stimulus measures in Japan.

Every sector of the market was higher, with the exception of utilities companies.

The health sector was the best performer, gaining nearly three per cent.

Expectations of a corporate tax cut by the Japanese government had boosted investor sentiment, as it comes on top of large share market gains there already this year, CMC Markets senior trader Ric Spooner said.

Good revenue and cost cutting performances from a range of companies, including JB Hi-Fi, Telstra, Rio Tinto and Resmed, had also helped the market, he said.

But many more companies are yet to report their financial results for the 2012/13 financial year, Mr Spooner warned.

"The third thing we've got is what is perceived as a reasonable risk of lower interest rates in Australia, which is driving people into equities and yields," he told AAP.

Medical services group Primary Health Care was among the best of the top 100 ASX stocks, adding 26 cents, or 5.2 per cent, to $5.29 ahead of its full year earnings result due for release on Wednesday.

Mining services company Bradken performed even better, with its shares gaining 65 cents, or 12.4 per cent, to $5.89 after it posted a fall in profit but flagged more job losses to cut costs.

Stronger iron ore prices helped boost the big miners, with BHP Billiton up 15 cents to $36.96, Rio Tinto up 79 cents to $62.62, while Fortescue Metals recovered from early losses to gain one cent to $4.32.

The banks also rose, with the big four adding between 0.3 per cent and 1.2 per cent in value.

One stock to fall was property developer Stockland, losing 11 cents to $3.70 after its profit fell almost 80 per cent due to weakness in the housing market and a major writedown.

KEY FACTS

* At the close on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 49 points, or 0.96 per cent, at 5,157.7.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 47.5 points, or 0.93 per cent, at 5,141.6.

* The September share price index futures contract was 56 points higher at 5,116 points, with 30,152 contracts traded.

* The spot price of gold in Sydney finished at $US1,339.40 per fine ounce, up $US8.80 from $US1,330.60 on Monday.

* National turnover was 1.8 billion securities worth $4.8 billion.

Greg Roberts