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Australia shares end higher as weak dollar lifts metals, NZ flat

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 14:06

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares finished higher on Tuesday, helped by materials, with iron ore, copper and gold prices lifted by the weak US dollar.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.7 per cent or 39.13 points higher to end the session at 5,650.1. The index ended 0.8 per cent lower on Monday.

The US dollar hit a seven-week low on concerns about the impact of US President Donald Trump's protectionist trade stance.

The metals and mining index rose as much as 3.1 per cent to its highest in over two years.

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Global miner BHP Billiton Ltd surged as much as 2.7 per cent to its highest since July 2015.

Chinese steel and iron ore futures rallied on Tuesday as investors chased prices higher after a four-day retreat.

Steel manufacturing company BlueScope Steel Ltd ended 8 per cent higher after it raised its earnings guidance.

Copper led most base metals higher as a weaker US dollar made dollar-denominated assets cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Base metals company South32 Ltd gained as much as 6.5 per cent to its biggest intraday percentage gain since December 1, 2016.

Gold prices were steady on Tuesday as the US dollar remained under pressure. Gold miner Resolute Mining Ltd rose as much as 5.3 per cent to its highest in more than two months.

Oil also rose after the dollar sank and on production cuts announced by Opec and other producers.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was flat at 7,064.16.

Industrials declined with Auckland International Airport Ltd falling 1.5 per cent, while utilities ended higher with Contact Energy Ltd rising as much as 1.2 per cent to its highest in more than three months.

REUTERS

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