The stock market in Australia ended higher for the fifth consecutive trading session on Friday, taking cues from Wall Street, where markets ended higher, led by technology stocks on increasing optimism that the efforts initiated by the U.S. Government will help in reviving the economy earlier than expected. In the U.S, investors were encouraged by better-than-expected earnings from big consumer brands and strong demand for government debt at the Treasury Department's auction of $24 billion worth of seven-year notes that helped to ease some of the recent concerns about the government's ability to fund its economic stimulus programs.
On Thursday, the Dow closed up 174.75 points or 2.3% at 7,925, the Nasdaq closed up 58.05 points or 3.8% at 1,587 and the S&P 500 closed up 18.98 points or 2.3% at 833.
In Asian trading, crude oil is currently down $0.27 at $54.07 a barrel, in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery closed at $54.34 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $1.57 on the session.
In Sydney, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 25.7 points or 0.70% to 3,672, and the broader All Ordinaries index gained 29.30 points, or 0.80%, to 3,616. Investors resorted to profit taking after a strong rally in the past few trading sessions dragging the indices from the day's high.
In the resources sector, index leader BHP Billiton gained 0.68% and Rio Tinto advanced 3.99%. Gold miners moved up after gold closed higher for a second straight session on Thursday. Newcrest Mining moved up 2.69% and Lihir Gold gained 0.31%. However, Sino Gold bucked trend and shed 3.27%.
Financial stocks were mixed. National Australia Bank advanced 0.48% and Commonwealth Bank of Australia gained 0.72%. However, ANZ Banking declined 1.49% and West Bank lost 2.35%, on profit taking. Investment bank Macquarie Group rose 2.17%.
Among energy stocks, Woodside decreased 2.84%, while Santos gained 0.87%, and Oil Search edged up 0.18%.
In the retail sector, David Jones slipped 1.65%, while Coles' owner Wesfarmers gained 0.48%, and Woolworths gained 1.23%.
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