Miners a drag on the market

THE ASX 200 followed strongly positive US leads and finished 0.5% higher this afternoon.

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Miners were one of the few weak sectors, with news that Chinese imports from Australia rose by 6.1% in October to US$8.5 billion not enough to ignite the sector.

"China's insatiable demand for Australia's natural resources services remains strong," CommSec said.

"Aussie exporters are key beneficiaries of a weaker Aussie dollar, thanks mainly to increasing interest rate differentials with the US. And rising iron ore, LNG and  coal prices are boosting Australia's fiscal position."

While major diversified miners were flat, gold miners were weak.

St Barbara and Saracen Mineral Holdings fell by around 4% each, with Northern Star Resources not far off with a 3.5% drop.

Trek Metals was a junior standout, rising 20% after reporting positive prelim...

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