RTTNews - The Australian stock market ended in positive territory on Monday, led by mining stocks following reports of consolidation in the industry. Better-than-expected economic data from Japan raised recovery hopes and comments from the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao that the domestic economy is improving spurred a rally in the Asian markets despite the lackluster lead from Wall Street last Friday.
In the U.S., stocks finished in the green snapping the three-day losses as investors preferred to stay on the sidelines amid a lull in economic data on the day, while looking forward to a slew of economic figures in the week beginning June 22.
While the Dow closed down 15.87 points or 0.2% at 8,540, the Nasdaq closed up 19.75 points or 1.1% at 1,827 and the S&P 500 closed up 2.83 points or 0.3% at 921.
The All Ordinaries Index opened unchanged from its previous close at 3,894 and moved up further on expectations of a recovery in the global economy. The index dipped below the unchanged line briefly on valuation concerns, but recovered smartly and ended in the positive territory at 3,911, representing a gain of 16.40 points, or 0.42%. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index followed a similar trend and ended higher at 3,918 with a gain of 18.60 points or 0.48%.
Crude oil prices ended almost flat at $69.54 a barrel in Asian trading. Light sweet crude oil finished at $69.55, down $1.82, on Friday in New York, amid concerns about demand.
On the economic front, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that the sale of new motor vehicles rose a seasonally adjusted 5.4% month-on-month in May to 75,472. During the month, sale of sports utility vehicles rose 6.4%, and sales of passenger vehicles increased 2.9%. Sale of other vehicles were up 11.3%., the report revealed.
National Australia Bank led the gains among financials after announcing its decision to buy the Australian wealth management business from Britain-based insurance firm Aviva Ltd for a consideration of $825 million. The stock gained gained 1.76%. Among others, ANZ Bank edged up 0.18%, Commonwealth Bank added 0.52% and Westpac Banking Corp. inched up 0.10%.
Mining stocks saw buying interest following the news that mining companies XStrata and Anglo-American might consider a tie-up to compete with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. BHP Billiton advanced 1.59%, and Fortescue Metals gained 5.44%. However, Rio Tinto declined 1.42%.
Gold stocks ended in positive territory on higher gold prices. Lihir Gold gained 2.881%, Newcrest Mining added 0.39% and Sino Gold rose 3.44%.
Oil stocks ended weaker following a drop in crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum shed 0.75%, Santos lost 1.21% and Oil Search fell 0.72%.
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