RTTNews - The Australian stock market ended the last day of the financial year 2008-09 on a positive territory Tuesday, led by a rise in commodity prices and positive cues from Wall Street, which ended in the green amid low volume ahead of key economic numbers.

In the U.S, the major indices ended Monday's session in positive territory, although the upward move was unconvincing due to low volumes.

The Dow closed up 90.99 points or 1.1% at 8,529, the Nasdaq closed up 5.84 points or 0.3% at 1,844, and the S&P rose 8.33 points or 0.9% to 927.

The All Ordinaries Index opened unchanged from its previous close at 3,883 and moved sharply higher past the 3,900-mark, as commodity stocks rallied, benefiting from higher commodity prices. Retailers and banks also joined the rally on the last trading day for the year. After the initial sharp spike, the index moved sideways for the rest of the session to close with a gain of 65.10 points, or 1.68%, at 3,948. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index followed a similar trend and ended with a gain of 68.00 points, or 1.75%, at 3,955.

Light sweet crude August delivery continued to move northward and ended at $72.85, up 96 cents in the Asian session after breezing past the $70 a barrel mark and ending Monday's session in New York at $71.49 with a gain of $2.33 a barrel amid increasing supply concerns following thE escalation of violation in Nigeria.

On the economic front, the Housing Industry Association revealed that new home sales in the country dropped 5.7% month-on-month in May, partly due to negative speculation about the federal budget brought out in the month.

In a separate report, the Reserve Bank of Australia revealed that total credit provided to the private sector was down 0.1% in May, following a rise of 0.1% in April. Total credit rose 3.95 in the year-to-may period.

Metal stocks led the gains following the rise in commodity prices in the international market. BHP Billiton advanced 2.42%, Rio Tinto gained 3.84%, Oz Minerals increased 2.22% and Fortescue Metals rose 2.16%.

Among oil companies, Woodside Petroleum gained 1.60%, Santos advanced 1.67% and Oil Search rose 2.82%.

Retailer David Jones soared more than 10% after raising its guidance for the year following better-than-expected sales for the recent quarter. Among others in retail space, Harvey Norman surged 8.55% and Wesfarmers added 3.05%.

Financial stocks also ended in positive territory in anticipation of better prospects for the new financial year beginning from tomorrow. ANZ Bank gained 1.73%, Commonwealth Bank Australia edged up 0.23%, National Australia Bank added 0.31% and Westpac Banking Corp. advanced 2.38%.

Gold stocks ended mixed. While Lihir Gold gained 0.68% and Newcrest Mining advanced 1.87%, Sino Gold bucked the trend and edged down 0.19%.

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