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Australian stocks close higher as gold gains, S&P soars 0.58%

Australian stocks close higher as gold gains, S&P soars 0.58%

SYDNEY: Australia stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Gold, Australian Real Estate Investment Trust and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.58% to hit a new 3-year high.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Flexigroup Ltd (ASX:FXL), which rose 14.80% or 0.450 points to trade at 3.490 at the close. Meanwhile, BC Iron Ltd (ASX:BCI) added 11.82% or 0.065 points to end at 0.615 and Beadell Resources Ltd (ASX:BDR) was up 8.06% or 0.025 points to 0.335 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Atlas Iron Ltd (ASX:AGO), which fell 9.52% or 0.020 points to trade at 0.190 at the close. Lynas Corporation Ltd (ASX:LYC) declined 6.12% or 0.003 points to end at 0.046 and Sundance Energy Australia Ltd (ASX:SEA) was down 4.63% or 0.025 points to 0.515.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 317 to 237 and 81 ended unchanged.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 2.29% to 15.044.

Gold for April delivery was up 0.71% or 9.00 to $1273.50 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude Oil for delivery in March fell 1.97% or 0.95 to hit $47.49 a barrel, while the March Brent Oil contract fell 2.55% or 1.39 to trade at $53.16 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.26% to 0.7772, while AUD/JPY rose 0.21% to 91.09.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.06% at 94.52.