RTTNews - The Australian market ended higher on Friday following positive closing in Wall Street and rise in metal prices in the international market. Mining stocks led the gains on expectation of revival in the global demand for metals.

In the U.S., stocks ended a choppy session in positive territory as a sharp drop in weekly jobless claims below the 600,000 mark for the first time since January was partly offset by larger-than-expected drop in comparable stores sales of chain stores for June. Traders largely shrugged off May wholesale trade data from the Commerce Department, that showed that wholesale inventories fell by less than economists had been expecting. The report also showed a modest increase in wholesale sales. Semiconductor, housing, banking and resource stocks managed to post gains while the laggards included the healthcare stocks and commercial real estate stocks.

The Dow managed to end the session up by 4.76 points or 0.1% at 8,183, the Nasdaq rose by 5.38 points or 0.3% to 1,753 and the S&P 500 finished up by 3.12 points or 0.4% at 883.

The All Ordinaries Index opened slightly higher at 3,764 compared to its previous close at 3,761 on positive cues from Wall Street and continued to trade in positive territory on higher metal prices. Volumes were relatively low amid choppy trading as traders preferred to stay in the sidelines ahead of the weekend. The index stayed above the unchanged line throughout the session and ended with a gain of 29.20 points, or 0.78% at 3,791. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index followed a similar trend and ended at 3,794, representing a gain of 30.8 points, or 0.82%.

Light sweet crude oil for August delivery ended lower by $0.21 at $60.20 in Asian trading, after ending the previous session with a gain of 27 cents at $60.41 a barrel, amid demand concerns.

Metal stocks advanced following a rebound in metal prices in the international market. BHP Billiton gained 1.11%, Rio Tinto advanced 1.60%, Minara Resources rose 3.40% and Mincor Resources added 2.89%. Macarthur Coal advanced 1.50% and Oz Minerals gained 1.74%.

Gold stocks ended higher. Lihir Gold added 0.70%, Newcrest Mining gained 1.89% and Sino Gold rose 1.89%.

Mixed trend was witnessed among oil stocks. While Santos edged up 0.76%, Oil Search slipped 0.95% and Woodside Petroleum edged down 0.52%.

Financial stocks showed mixed trend. ANZ Bank gained 1.14% Commonwealth Bank Australia added 0.94% and National Australia Bank rose 1.40%. However, Westpac Banking bucked the trend and slipped down by 0.05%.Packaging company Amcor Ltd shed 1.74% following news that the company is assessing the funding options for the proposed acquisition of packaging assets from Rio Tinto Group.

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