6:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks gained on the strength in banks but miners struggled. BHP Billiton completed the sale of its Canadian diamond unit for $553 million. Woolworths said quarterly sales increased 2.5%.
Australian markets traded up following the gains in New York and financials led the advancers despite the latest weak employment data.
The ASX 200 index jumped 39.10 or 0.8% to 5,007.10 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 36.60 to 5,010.30.
Australian dollar closed nearly unchanged at $1.051 and in stock trading, turnover increased to 823 million shares worth $4 billion.
The unemployment rate in March increased to 5.6% and economy lost 36,100 jobs in the month, according to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Rio Tinto slid 25 cents to $58.03 and BHP fell 28 cents to $33.40. Fortescue Metals Group fell 3 cent to $3.95.
Media reports suggest that BHP discovered a potentially large copper deposit in the remote West Australian outback.
Woodside Petroleum gained 8 cents to $35.28 and Santos jumped 31 cents to $12.59.
Newcrest Mining down 19 cents to $19.56, Kingsgate plummeted 22 cents or 5.8% to $3.58 and Whitehaven Coal lowered 4 cents to $2.12.
David Jones Limited gained 5 cents to $2.89 and Breville Group rose 15 cents to $6.60. Billabong added 0.05 cents to 54 cents and Globe International closed unchanged at 41 cents.
Woolworths Limited third quarter sales increased 2.5% to $14.4 billion on the strength in supermarket and home improvement divisions. Food and liquor sales rose the most in two years.
Woolworths jumped 48 cents to $34.37. Kathmandu fell 2 cents to $1.96.
Toll Holdings closed unchanged at $5.82, Leighton jumped 32 cents to 20.30 and Mirvac Group closed unchanged at $1.63. Lend Lease slid 8 cents to $10.48.
Leighton Holdings Limited jumped 1.6% after the infrastructure contractor said its order book will shrink $260 million after BHP and Mitsubishi venture terminated contract ahead of schedule.
Westpac gained 60 cents to $31.53, Commonwealth rose 1.1% to $68.05 and National Australia Bank increased 1.3% to $31.60 and ANZ climbed 44 cents to $28.69.
Macquarie Group up 41 cents to $37.80 and Wesfarmers rose 42 cents to $40.54.
Nufarm slipped 7 cents to $4.30. Linc Energy added 2 cents to $2.03.
The Reject Shop Limited gained 4% and led the gainers in the ASX 200 index and Sundance Resource Limited was the worst performing stock with a loss of 12%.