The Australian share market managed a second session of gains today, despite worries about the US budget impasse and falls on most global markets overnight.
To be sure, it's not a U.S. stock market for rookies or the squeamish -- it's a market that also can bring out the reactive in even the most experienced investor.
The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) rose by 17.1pts or 0.3 per cent to 5232, while the ASX 200 (XJO) was firmer by 19.3pts or 0.4 per cent to 5234.9pts.
Mining stocks were the best performers on the market, with the materials sector firmer by 0.7 per cent.
The financial sector also recorded solid gains, up 0.5 per cent while a weaker oil price during Asian trade saw the energy sector fall by 0.4 per cent.
Construction giant Leighton Holdings (LEI) was the worst performer on the ASX 200, falling 10.4 per cent to $17.54 despite the company vigorously defending newspaper allegations of corruption and bribery amongst top executives.
Elsewhere retailer David Jones (DJS) shares fell 3.1 per cent to $2.86 after the company traded without rights to its 7 cent dividend.
In economic news, the Performance of Services Index rose from near 5 year lows in September, lifting 8.1 points to 47.1 points. Still, it was the 20th straight month that the index has been below 50, indicating a contraction of the services sector.
The official Chinese Purchasing Manager's Index for the services sector rose from 53.9 to a six month high of 55.4 in September.
On the market overall, a total of 1.7 billion shares changed hands, worth $3.5 billion. 447 rose, 435 were lower and 362 were unchanged.
At 4.30pm AEST the SFE 200 Futures Index was at 5230, up 18 points.
The Australian dollar ended the day's trade near US94c.
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