RTTNews - The Australian market ended higher on Friday lifting the indices to a 9-month high as increasing optimism about the turnaround in the global economy continues to attract traders to the bourses. Banks, energy and metal stocks led the gains on the last day of the month. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 3.77% for the week and 7.3% for the month of July.

In the U.S., stocks ended the previous session at the best levels for the year despite some profit taking, encouraged by data related to weekly jobless claims and continuing claims, as well as respectable results for the 7-year note auction.

The Dow finished up by 83.74 points or 0.9% at 9,154, the Nasdaq advanced by 16.54 points or 0.8% to 1,984 and the S&P 500 rose by 11.60 points or 1.2% to 987.

The All Ordinaries Index opened unchanged from previous close at 4,196 and moved northward taking cues from Wall Street where the indices closed at their best levels for the year. Increasing optimism that the global economy is showing signs of stabilization and is bound to start recovering later in the year attracted investors to the market. The index ended the session in positive territory with a gain of 53.60 points, or 1.28 at 4,250. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index also followed a similar trend and ended at 4,244, representing a gain of 53.60 points, or 1.28%.

On the economic front, a report released by the TD Securities and Melbourne Institute revealed that monthly inflation gauge for Australia rose at its fastest pace in seven years in July, primarily due to higher costs of communication, utilities and other housing related charges. The gauge rose 0.9% in July, which is the steepest rise in the seven-year history of the survey. This comes after a 0.4% rise in June.

Light sweet crude oil for September delivery ended the Asian trading session at $67.70, up $0.76 from its previous close in New York at $66.70 a barrel on Thursday.

Banks advanced on recovery hopes. ANZ Bank gained 4.45%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 2.84%, National Australia Bank advanced 2.36% and Westpac Banking increased 1.50%.

Metal stocks advanced on expectations of rise in demand. BHP Billiton gained 1.88%, Rio Tinto rose 3.96%, Gindalbie Metals advanced 1.74%, Iluka Resources increased 3.62% and Oz Minerals added 0.90%.

Energy stocks also ended higher following sharp recovery in crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum rose 2.72%, Santos added 0.90%, Oil Search advanced 1.99% and Origin Energy gained 0.83%.

Mixed trading was witnessed among gold stocks. While Lihir Gold added 0.73%, Newcrest Mining remained unchanged from previous close. However, Sino Gold dropped 1.12% on profit taking.

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