8:30 PM Sydney – Nervous traders stayed on sidelines as Greek election approach and G20 leaders gather next week to discuss global economy. The Australian dollar drifted back to parity for the first time in six weeks. Echo Entertainment plans to raise $454 million.
Australian stocks closed higher tracking the gains in New York but market caution prevailed ahead of Greek election on Sunday.
The dollar jumped back above parity to the U.S. dollar for the first time since May 3 as investors searched the safety in risk-averse currencies and on a growing speculation that the central banks around the world are prepared for a coordinated action to deal with an adverse outcome of the Greek election.
The ASX 200 index increased 15.06 to 4,057.30 and All Ordinaries index gained 17.18 to 4,107.0. For the week, the ASX 200 index decreased 0.15%.
The Australian dollar extended gains for the fifth day to US$1.0052 traded above parity for the first time since May 3.
Coalworks increased 2 cents to $1.005 after the company recommended shareholders to vote for the revised offer from Whitehaven Coal.
BHP Billiton Limited increased 4 cents to $31.84 and Rio Tinto Limited gained 23 cents to $54.50. Fortescue Metals Group raised 9 cents to $4.78.
Lynas Corporation Limited fell 3.5 cents to 88 cents and Iluka Resources advanced 46 cents to $12.24. Newcrest Mining rose 1 cent to $24.43 and Kingsgate declined 22 cents to $5.43.
Oil Search Limited unchanged to $6.67 and Santos Limited added 4 cents to $11.62 and Orica gained 28 cents to $24.05.
Echo Entertainment stayed in a trading halt at $4.49 after the company said it plans to raise $454 million in a stock offering and estimated profit decline of as much as 39%.
David Jones Limited rose 4 cents to $2.28, Harvey Norman Holdings closed down at 1 cent to $1.86 and Woolworths increased 10 cents to $26.49.
Kathmandu added 2 cent to $1.12. Billabong International Limited fell 4 cents to $1.93.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia advanced 32 cents to $50.89 and Bank of Queensland increased 13 cents to $6.77. ANZ slipped 8 cents to $21.28. National Australia Bank gained 6 cents to $22.12 and Westpac Banking Corporation closed up at 5 cents to $20.34. Macquarie Group increased 33 cents to $25.47.
Perpetual Limited declined 26 cents to $23.53 a day after media speculation that the company may receive a takeover proposal at $30 a share.
Fairfax Media rose 5 cent to 60.5 cents on a growing speculation that billionaire Gina Reihart is raising her stake in the company to as much as 19.9% after a block of 69.76 million shares changed hands after the market close.
Stockland fell 2 cent to $3.20, Leighton slides 14 cents to $16.51 and Toll Holdings closed down at 2 cents to $4.22.
Qantas added 1 cent to $1.15, Virgin Australia unchanged to 38 cents and Flight Centre increased 6 cents to $18.92.
QR National unchanged to $3.34.