The Australian share market enjoyed a solid start to the trading week. The removal of election uncertainty, strong Chinese trade data and a successful Olympic bid by Tokyo also supported stocks in the region. Japan's Nikkei Index rose 2.5 per cent while the Shanghai Composite in China was up 3.5 per cent.
Concerns over America's 'fiscal cliff' has had a knock-on effect upon the markets [Reuters].
Energy, financial and mining players were well supported.
Heading the other way was Woolworths (WOW) and CSL Limited (CSL). WOW traded without rights to its 71c dividend payment and ended the day's trade lower by 61c or 1.7 per cent to $34.62. CSL Limited will pay shareholders 56.98c per share and closed lower by 30c or 0.5 per cent to $66.50.
Expectations the carbon tax will be abolished now the Coalition has formed government helped airline stocks. Shares in Qantas (QAN) rose 3.8 per cent to $1.37 while Virgin Australia (VAH) was up 3.6 per cent to $0.435.
In economic news today, the number of new owner-occupier housing loans rose by 2.4 per cent in July - the seventh straight increase. The value of all home loans stands at a 5-year high.
Job advertisements fell by 2 per cent in August to be down 18.5 per cent on a year ago.
According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol fell by 3.3 cents per litre to 150.0 cents a litre in the week to September 8. But the terminal gate (wholesale) price rose by 2.5 cents over the past week, pointing to higher pump prices ahead.
On the market overall, a total of 1.4 billion shares changed hands, worth $3.8 billion. 554 were up, 372 were down and 355 were unchanged.
At 5pm AEST the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5192, up 47pts.
Ahead tonight, consumer credit figures are released in the US.
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