6:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks were empowered and commodities linked stocks led the surge after China reported a surge in exports in February. For two months to the month, exports soared 23.6% and imports gained 5%.
Australian stocks opened flat in a quiet trading and picked up steam after China released its February trade data.
Exports increased 21.8% in the month and imports declined to a 13-month low by 15.2%. The surprise bounce in exports was driven by strongest export increase to the U.S. in a year and 18-month high to the euro zone.
The international trade data are distorted in the first two months depending on when the Lunar New Year holiday falls on the calendar. When the data for January and February are combined, exports surged 23.6% from a year ago period and imports gained 5%.
The ASX 200 index increased 14.20 to 5,123.40 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 14.32 to 5,137.45.
For the week, the ASX 200 index rose 0.4%.
The Australian dollar edged up to $1.0278.
Miners jumped after China reported a surge in exports mostly driven by the demand increase in the U.S. and the euro zone.
Rio Tinto climbed $1.13 to $64.36 and BHP gained 27 cents to $36.09. Fortescue Metals Group added 2 cents to $4.42.
Woodside Petroleum rose 5 cents to $37.14 and the company played down the reports that its natural gas project is facing regulatory hurdles in Israel.
Santos increased 17 cents to $13.38.
Newcrest Mining advanced 30 cents to $21.88. Kingsgate jumped 16 cents or 4.5% to $3.71 and Whitehaven Coal slid 1 cent to $2.58.
David Jones Limited slipped 5 cents to $3.02 and Breville Group up 3 cents to $5.50. Billabong added 0.5 cents to 87 cents and Globe International closed unchanged at 41 cents.
Woolworths jumped 23 cents to $35.37. Kathmandu dropped 5 cents to $2.02.
Toll Holdings up 2 cents to $6.05, Leighton gained 7 cents to $22.04 and Mirvac Group fell 1 cent to $1.61. Lend Lease slumped 12 cents to $10.32.
Westpac edged lowered 0.1% to $31.25, Commonwealth up 0.2% to $69.83 and National Australia Bank rose 0.1% to $31.10 and ANZ increased 0.4% to $29.12.
Macquarie Group advanced $1.16 to $38.79.
Woolworths gained 0.7% to $35.37 and Wesfarmers climbed 30 cents to $42.63.