6:30 PM Sydney – Australian indexes built on the early morning gains to close higher for the second day in a row but iron ore prices trended near the low of the year. Australian dollar was one penny shy from the low of the year. OZ Minerals plunged 10% on lowered copper deposit estimates.
Australian stocks opened higher and gained more in the session after investors stepped to add more equities and iron ore prices trended lower in the spot market.
The ASX 200 index climbed 34.70 or 0.7% to 4,966.60 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 32.40 to 4,955.40.
Australian dollar closed up $1.028 and in stock trading, turnover decreased to 599 million shares valued at $3.1 billion.
The latest read on manufacturing indicated no tangible improvement in the sector in the three months to March.
The manufacturing activities index track by National Australia Bank improved to neutral from -0.3% in the final quarter of 2012.
Mining stocks rebounded for the second day in a row after heavy selling in weak trading environment in the last week.
Rio Tinto rose 80 cents to $55.12 and BHP added 32 cents to $31.72. Fortescue Metals Group gained 5 cents to $3.82.
OZ Minerals plunged 10% to $4.03 after the company lowered its copper deposit estimate to no more than 88,000 tons from the previous 95,000 ton estimate. The company lowered its outlook after a wall slide at its largest mine in South Australia.
Woodside Petroleum jumped 50 cents to $34.60 and Santos climbed 26 cents to $11.91.
Newcrest Mining rose 36 cents to $17.01, Kingsgate slid 5 cents $2.57 and Whitehaven Coal gained 5 cents to $1.97.
David Jones Limited up 3 cents to $2.96 and Breville Group added 12 cents to $6.73. Billabong fell 0.5 cents to 49 cents.
Woolworths slipped 10 cents to $35.39. Kathmandu slid 1 cent to $1.96.
Harvey Norman lowered 4 cents to $2.70 after the furniture retailer said third quarter sales increased 0.6% to $1.28 billion.
Toll Holdings down 5 cents to $5.52, Leighton slumped 27 cents to $18.94 and Mirvac Group fell 1 cent to $1.71. Lend Lease gained 9 cents to $10.32.
Westpac increased 9 cents to $31.32, Commonwealth up 0.8% to $69.33 and National Australia Bank added 0.6% to $31.64 and ANZ rose 16 cents to $28.57.
Macquarie Group gained 62 cents to $36.60 and Wesfarmers up 11 cents to $41.87.
Insurance Australian Group completed the sale of its UK business Equity Red Star Aquiline Capital Partners for $128.8 million.
Nufarm jumped 8 cents to $4.09 and Linc Energy closed unchanged at $1.85.
Qantas Airways Limited increased 1.4% to $1.78 and the airline struck a partnership with the New South Wales government for a $30 million for a three year collaborative campaign to attract more visitors from the U.S., Japan, China and New Zealand. The partnership does not include India.