10:35PM Sydney, Australia – Australian stocks traded higher as investors bid up global stocks and commodities gain around the world. Australian dollar edged to another yearly high against the U.S. dollar. Banks and retailers gained.
Australian stocks gained as commodities advanced in New York and London trading. Aussie dollar advanced to 87.64 US cents and reached a 13-month high as the U.S. dollar weakened.
Of the stocks in S&P ASX 200 index, 141 increased, 50 declined and 9 were unchanged.
Eircom Holdings Limited led the decliners in the S&P ASX 200 index with a loss of 60.6% followed by losses in Nufarm Limited of 4.3%, in PMP Limited of 4.1%, in Lynas Corporation Limited of 3.8% and in Extract Resources Limited of 2.9%.
Linc Energy Ltd led gainers in the S&P ASX 200 index with a rise of 16.3% followed by gains in Gunns Limited 9.0%, in Equinox Minerals Limited of 8.0% and in Alumina Limited of 6.9%.
Of all the stocks traded, 760 stocks increased 430 decreased and 327 were unchanged and 4 billion shares changed hands worth about A$8.4 billion.
Austar United Communications increased 5% to A$1.25 after the company revised the terms of its senior debt facility by three years.
AWB Limited the former monopoly wheat exporter rose 6.8% to A$1.48.
BHP Billiton plc the mining company closed 1.5% up to A$39.59 and separately the company is planning an expansion of its coal export terminal at Newcastle Port. The second terminal will begin coal export from next year according to the Australia Financial Review.
Banks closed higher as investors bought stocks in the sector after the Reserve Bank of Australia in a statement showed no urgency to raise rates. Commonwealth Bank increased 1.8% to A$40.29, Westpac added 1.3% to A$24.87 and NAB advanced 1.7% to A$29.55.
Equinox Minerals Limited the copper mining company advanced 8.0% to A$3.62.
Extract Resources Limited fell 2.9% to A$10.84 after the mining company completed its previously announced underwritten private placement of special warrants for gross proceeds of A$40.3 million. Separately, the company said Managing Director Peter McIntyre resigned.
Fairfax Media increased 2.5% to A$1.72 and Consolidated Media decreased 1% to A$3.01. John B. Fairfax controlled private company said that it will not support the reelection of the chairman Ron Walker at Fairfax Media.
GrainCorp Limited increased 2.8% to A$8.75 after the grain processor was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Goldman Sachs.
Lihir Gold increased 1% to A$3.18 and Newcrest Mining edged up 0.8% to A$35.22 as gold hovered near $1,020 an ounce.
Linc Energy Ltd surged 16.3% to A$1.75 after the coal explorer said share purchase plan closed on September 4th 2009. Applications of A$7.708 million worth of fully paid ordinary shares were received from eligible shareholders.
Peter Bond CEO of Linc Energy said that ""the Linc share price was at or below the SPP price for most of the application period.”
Macquarie Group Limited the investment bank added 4.4% to A$53.50. Macquarie Media Group advanced 4.9% to A$2.01 as the company is still in discussion with Macquarie Group.
Rio Tinto Limited added 2.1% to A$61.50 after the mining company said Platinum Equity has signed a definitive agreement to purchase controlling interest in the Alcan Cable division of Rio Tinto.