Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.02%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.02%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Thursday, as gains in the Telecoms Services , Healthcare and Consumer Staples sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.02% to hit a new 5-year high.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Breville Group Ltd (AX: BRG ), which rose 12.29% or 1.430 points to trade at 13.070 at the close. Bellamys Australia Ltd (AX: BAL ) added 7.25% or 0.660 points to end at 9.760 and Qbe Insurance Group Ltd (AX: QBE ) was up 6.96% or 0.710 points to 10.910 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Invocare Ltd (AX: IVC ), which lost 8.13% or 1.170 points to trade at 13.230 in late trade. Iluka Resources Ltd (AX: ILU ) declined 8.05% or 0.850 points to end at 9.710 and Mineral Resources Ltd (AX: MIN ) shed 7.21% or 1.080 points to 13.890.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones by 648 to 572 and 407 ended unchanged on the Sydney Stock Exchange.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX , which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 2.20% to 11.506.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.03% or 0.30 to $1184.70 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in September rose 0.28% or 0.18 to hit $65.19 a barrel, while the October Brent oil contract rose 0.59% or 0.42 to trade at $71.18 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.47% to 0.7273, while AUD/JPY rose 0.60% to 80.64.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.26% at 96.34.

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