4:45 PM Sydney – Australian stocks traded higher as resource stocks gained and Japan cited more progress in containing a nuclear reactor. Crude oil prices surged after UK and France led an attack on Libya that killed as many as 150 civilians. Lundin Mining asked shareholders to reject hostile offer from Equinox Mining.
The ASX 200 index increased 16.4 or 0.4% to 4,642.80 and the All Ordinaries index increased 18.3 or 0.4% to 4,734.10.
Crude oil futures increased after France and UK led a military attack to Libyan military targets near Bengazi that killed as many as 150 civilians.
The controversial attack opposed by Turkey, China and Russia and Arab League and African Union called for immediate halt of bombardment.
“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” said Arab League general secretary Amr Moussa.
The Libyan attack commenced on the eight anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
The Australian dollar closed up US$1.003 and crude oil futures decreased 41 cents to close at US$101.04.
Lundin Mining recommended its shareholders to reject a C$4.8 billion hostile bid from Equinox Minerals as it attempts to complete its merger with Inmet Mining Corp.
ASX Ltd closed 1.8% lower to $34.18 and dropped as low as $33.91 after more independent lawmakers voiced their opposition to the acquisition by the Singapore Exchange.
Amadeus Energy increased 36% to 30 cents after the U.S. private company Eden Petroleum Investments offered 35 cents a share. Directors of Amadeus control 15% of the company and plan to vote in the favor of the deal.
Banks closed mixed. ANZ added 1.5% to $23.04 and Westpac Banking Corp gained 0.7% to $22.78.
Resource stocks closed higher after precious metals edged up. Rio Tinto added 0.6% to $81 and Newcrest Mining increased 0.8% to $36.94.
Woolworths increased 1.7% or 45 cents after trading ex-dividend of 57 cents to $25.95.
Uranium miners rebounded after Japan indicated a progress in containing a nuclear reactor meltdown at Fukushima nuclear power plant. Paladin Energy Ltd increased 2.5% to $3.69 and Extract Resources soared 14% to $8.01.
BHP Billiton declined 6 cents to $44.50.
Woodside Petroleum increased 1.8% to $45.20 and Santos Ltd increased 1.1% to $15.22. Origin Energy added 0.95 to $15.54.