Australian shares have extended their rally, rising for a sixth straight session as the world’s biggest miner BHP Billiton drove market gains.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 21.3 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5373.1, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 19.7 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5371.2.
Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee said BHP’s upgraded full-year forecast and record quarterly production had lifted sentiment across the board.
‘‘BHP is the bright spot on the market today,’’ Ms Lee said. ‘‘We’ve seen gains across most of the sectors, with the only real exceptions being energy and consumer discretionary as well as the telcos.’’
Ms Lee said prominent iron ore miners Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals and Atlas Iron had also lifted the local bourse after recently posting strong production results.
BHP Billiton gained 85 cents, or 2.35 per cent, to $37.05, after upgrading its iron ore production guidance for the fiscal year from 207 to 212 million tonnes and beating forecasts during the September quarter.
Rio Tinto was 22 cents higher at $63.97, while Fortescue Metals Group fell four cents to $5.41. Atlas Iron was six cents higher at $1.05 but gold miner Newcrest shed five cent to $10.71.
Meanwhile, department store chain David Jones lost 6 cents to $2.79 after chief executive Paul Zahra announced he would quit for personal reasons.
All the major banks were higher, with Westpac three cents higher at $34.11, ANZ added 11 cents to a new record close of $32.23, National Australia Bank was 10 higher at $36.07 and Commonwealth Bank gained 21 cents to $74.76.
Property group Mirvac rose three cents to $1.79 after indicating it was on track to reach its full-year earnings target and deliver a net profit of between $428 million and $443 million in 2013-14.
Regional media group APN News and Media rose 3.5 cents to 45 cents after announcing it would move to sell its remaining stake in its outdoor advertising business to private equity group Quadrant Private Equity for $69 million.