5:00 PM Sydney – Australian stocks closed higher but weak commodities hovered market sentiment. Four largest banks rebounded nearly 2% in the week but declined 10% in the last three weeks.
Australian stocks opened lower and struggled to find direction but an afternoon rally lifted market indexes higher.
In light trading, 610 million shares changed hands worth $3.57 billion and banks led the most actively traded stocks.
ASX 200 index gained 20.50 to close up 5,318.20 and the Aussie dollar strengthened to close at 87.92 U.S. cents.
In commodities trading, gold gained a fraction but closed down $4.30 to US$1,211 an ounce and light crude oil added 28 cents to close at US$91.01 a barrel.
Iron ore price in the spot market recovered and close higher 1.2% to US$79.60 a ton.
Travel related stocks were in focus on the worries that the spread of Ebola virus may affect the trade.
Flight Center declined 1.2% to $42.51.
Mining stocks extended losses for the third week and in the year. BHP Billiton declined 2.1% to $33.45 and Rio Tinto declined 2.2% to $58.80. Fortescue Metals dropped to one-year low and closed down 2% to $3.45.
Atlas Iron dropped 20% to 37.5 cents and Arrium decreased 5 % to 35.5 cents.
M2 Telecommunications closed unchanged at $17.75 and the Internet services provider said it will provide free Internet TV as a part of its basic ADSL package.