Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.38%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.38%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Thursday, as gains in the Energy , Utilities and Telecoms Services sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.38%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Mcmillan Shakespeare Ltd (AX: MMS ), which rose 5.15% or 0.760 points to trade at 15.510 at the close. Whitehaven Coal Ltd (AX: WHC ) added 4.35% or 0.200 points to end at 4.800 and Bluescope Steel Ltd (AX: BSL ) was up 4.34% or 0.520 points to 12.500 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Galaxy Resources Ltd (AX: GXY ), which lost 6.25% or 0.140 points to trade at 2.100 in late trade. Northern Star Resources Ltd (AX: NST ) declined 5.41% or 0.470 points to end at 8.210 and Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (AX: NEC ) shed 4.73% or 0.07 points to 1.51.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 563 to 528 and 315 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 down 9.29% to 12.508.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.26% or 3.35 to $1280.65 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in March fell 0.53% or 0.28 to hit $52.34 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract fell 0.54% or 0.33 to trade at $60.81 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.48% to 0.7107, while AUD/JPY fell 0.46% to 77.90.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.02% at 95.790.

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