Commodity rebound pushes market higher

A BOUNCE in commodities overnight has lifted resource and energy stocks and helped push the local share market higher as news emerged that investment in Australia’s mining sector had soared to a record $A173.5 billion in April.


The S&P-ASX 200 closed 75.5 points or 1.65% higher on 4660.2, while the All Ordinaries followed suit, gaining 73.5 points to 4735.1.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 38.45 points or 0.31% higher on 12,394.66, the S&P 500 index gained 4.19 points or 0.32% to 1320.47 and the Nasdaq Composite increased 15.22 points or 0.55% to 2761.38.

Locally, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences reported estimated capital spending of $173.5 billion over 94 advanced stage projects, including 35 mineral mining projects, 35 energy projects, 20 infrastructure projects and four processing projects.

ABARES acting deputy executive director Terry Sheales said the increase in planned capital spending reflected the mining sector’s confidence in the medium and long-term outlook for the country’s mineral and energy commodities.

“Commodities attracting the most investment are oil and gas, iron ore and coal and associated infrastructure which collectively account for around 92 per cent of all committed capital expenditure,” he said.

In other news, Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Ric Battellino warned interest rates will have to rise around the world to combat inflation.

His comments come ahead of the RBA’s next board meeting which is scheduled for June 7.

The bank has been on hold with rates at 4.75% since November.

He also dismissed any notion of a commodity price bubble.

Battellino made the comments during his speech to the Annual Stockbrokers Conference in Sydney this morning.

Of the big miners, BHP Billiton closed 94c higher on $43.91, Rio Tinto gained $1.53 to $80.25, OZ Minerals gained 6.5c to $1.355 and Paladin Energy finished 16c higher on $3.25.

Fortescue Metals Group jumped 9c to $6.33 after announcing today it was postponing a $US1 billion unsecured term loan facility.

One of the big movers of the day was mineral sands hopeful Magnetic Resources with its shares up 40% or A6c to 21c after yesterday announcing it had extended the magnetic target zone at its Jubuk magnetite project in WA.

Fellow junior Sabre Resources also had a run, with its shares up nearly 24% or 2.5c to 13c after confirming broad outcropping lead-zinc mineralisation in channel sampling at its Driehoek in Namibia.

As for gold stocks, Australia’s largest locally owned miner Newcrest Mining closed $1.09 higher on $38.71, Kingsgate Consolidated jumped 29c to $7.97 and AngloGold Ashanti shed 1c to close on $8.64.

At 4.21pm (AEDT) the spot price of the precious metal was fetching $1530.75/oz, while the Australian dollar continued to track above parity, but pretty much mirrored yesterday’s price of $US1.05.