Miners Gain in Share Market

Submitted by Share Trading on 20 January, 2009 - 14:30

Many ASX listed companies had a boost in the stock market yesterday. Trading was thin ahead of a U.S. market holiday on Monday, and largely followed Wall Street's lead from last Friday. It was the miners that contributed most to the market's rise. This was particularly true for the gold stocks, which were helped by a more than 4% bounce in the price of the precious metal. Newcrest mining (NCM) that was the real standout performer, with shares shooting almost 9% higher.

Rio Tinto (RIO) rose 5.7 percent to $40.55. Wesfarmers (WES) were in the spotlight yesterday to striking a deal to refinance its considerable debt rose 6 percent to $17.20, ending on the day's high; as there was a report that it is close to refinancing $7 billion in debt due over the next two years. A Wesfarmers spokeswoman reiterated comments from last week that the group was weighing a range of refinancing options. The big diversified miners did their part to support the market. BHP Billiton moved 1.3% higher, while rival Rio Tinto well and truly outperformed with a solid 5.8% gain.

PGG Wrightson, a New Zealand based real estate company said it was closing its Australian real estate and livestock office, due to current market conditions and an adverse outlook. The office had been set up to handle investments in Australia's dairy industry. Meanwhile, the energy stocks also had a good run, continuing to take back some of last week's losses. The oil producers were led higher by Santos which was over 4% higher at the close of trade, while elsewhere the uranium stocks were in favour with Energy Resources and Paladin both in the vicinity of 5% firmer.

The XJO rose 38.4 points to finish at 3,589.3 after falling 4.9 percent last week. Simon Bonouvrie, a portfolio manager at Platypus Asset Management said “It’s probably a bit of bottom fishing for some value today as well”. "There could be some positive moves in the market around an official announcement on that, but it's probably largely factored in," he added.