Australia Shares Higher at Close of Trade and Shares in Asia Mix with China

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After the close on Monday, Australia stocks were higher as gains in the Gold, Energy and Telecoms Services  sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 increased 0.29% to reach a new 52-week peak.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Vocus Fpo (AX:VOC), which increase 6.42% or 0.260 points to trade at 4.310 at the close. Temporarily, St Barbara Ltd (AX:SBM) added 5.00% or 0.105 points to end at 2.205 and Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (AX:SAR) was up 4.43% or 0.045 points to 1.060 in late trade.

The poorest performers of the session were Orocobre Ltd (AX:ORE), which drop 2.97% or 0.130 points to trade at 4.240 at the close. Macquarie Atlas Roads Group (AX:MQA) fell 2.19% or 0.110 points to end at 4.910 and Qube Holdings Ltd (AX:QUB) declined 2.05% or 0.050 points to 2.390.

Increasing stocks outnumbered  decreasing ones on the Australian Stock Exchange by 563 to 438 and 326 ended unmoved.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which gauges the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, declined 1.16% to 12.728.

Delivery of gold for February increased 1.00% or 11.70 to $1177.00 a troy ounce. Somewhere else in commodities trading, delivery of crude oil in February fell 0.06% or 0.03 to hit $53.23 a barrel, although the March Brent oil agreement declines 0.14% or 0.08 to trade at $56.38 a barrel.

AUD/USD increased 0.49% to 0.7318, while AUD/JPY dropped 0.46% to 85.00.

The US Dollar Index declined 0.59% at 101.89.

On Additional News

On Thursday, Asian shares were mixed  with mainland China and Hong Kong gaining on a solid services PMI reading, although Japan inched down as the greenback weakened suddenly and into Asia from 14-year peaks against a basket of currencies as investors start to cast uncertainty the Fed would increase rates three times this year.

The Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.08%, although Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was last up 1.04%. On Thursday, the yuan increased to its highest level compared to the greenback in three weeks after the People’s Bank of China set a stronger fixing at 6.9307, compared with a fixing of 6.9526 Wednesday.

The Nikkei 225 dropped 0.33%, while the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.30%.

“Fed Reserve minutes as investors said that the forecast of as many as three rate hikes in 2017 is highly variable on President-elect Donald Trump getting an aggressive tax cut and spending plan through Congress,” according to the reports.

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