Market Driven Higher By Resources

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April 29th, 2012

THE Australian share market was stronger at noon driven by resources stocks on anticipation of a soft economic landing in China.

At 1209 AEST today, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 29.2 points, or 0.67 per cent, higher at 4,391.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 28.1 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 4,461.5 points.

On the ASX 24, the June share price index futures contract was 20 points higher at 4,389 points, with 10,330 contracts traded.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said it was a case of ``so far so good'' on the Australian market after it lagged behind overseas markets last week.

He said there was improving sentiment among investors about a soft landing in China rather than a hard one in relation to economic growth.

"One of the reasons for that is what appears to be a resolution of leadership problems in China, creating a clearer way forward towards a more open economy,'' he said.

In local economic today, Australia's housing sector called on the reserve bank to deliver a 50 basis point interest rate cut tomorrow after a survey showed new home sales have fallen to their lowest level in more than a decade.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA), which represents the residential building industry, says new home sales dropped 9.4 per cent, seasonally adjusted, in March 2012, their lowest level in more than 10 years.

Industrial services company Spotless has agreed to a full take-over by private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) for a total cash consideration of $2.71 per share.

The offer values Spotless at $720.2 million.

Its shares had shot up 10.5 cents, or 4.27 per cent, to $2.565 at 1220 AEST following the news.

Troubled miner Kagara has appointed voluntary administrators in a bid to save the company.

Its shares have been in a trading halt at 12 cents for more than a week after plunging more than 68 per cent in the last three months.

National Australia Bank shares were one cent up at $25.16.

The other three major banks were also higher. Commonwealth Bank was 25 cents up at $51.84, ANZ was 20 cents higher at $23.86 and Westpac was up eight cents at $22.67.

The mining giants were also all showing gains.

BHP Billiton was 58 cents higher at $35.47, Rio Tinto was 79 cents higher at $66.22 and Fortescue Metals was four cents up at $5.67.