Nearly all sectors were in positive territory by the close, utilities being the exception with AGL Energy (-1%) causing a majority of the damage.
The big four banks finished the session mixed; ANZ climbed 1.2%, while NAB declined 1.2% following on from yesterday’s disappointing profit result.
Australia’s largest miners were in the headlines due to BHP’s half year profit result.
Rio Tinto gained 1.1% following an announcement that it will be spending an extra US$3.4 billion in expanding its iron ore operations in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
Fortescue jumped 3.2% as speculation emerged that it could become a potential takeover target following this week’s deal between Glencore and Xstrata.
In the broader market, Gunns soared 36% (after being up as much as 100% at one stage) after announcing a planned capital raising of $280 million – $150 million of that being allocated to billionaire investor Richard Chandler.
The ASX 200 put on 17 points (0.4%), to close at 4291.