Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.50%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.50%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Friday, as gains in the IT , Consumer Staples and Metals & Mining sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.50% to hit a new 1-month high.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (AX: APT ), which rose 12.98% or 1.850 points to trade at 16.100 at the close. Sandfire Resources NL (AX: SFR ) added 6.46% or 0.430 points to end at 7.090 and Credit Corp Group Ltd (AX: CCP ) was up 5.27% or 1.060 points to 21.160 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Steadfast Group Ltd (AX: SDF ), which lost 5.28% or 0.150 points to trade at 2.690 in late trade. Estia Health Ltd (AX: EHE ) declined 4.91% or 0.110 points to end at 2.130 and Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (AX: SYD ) shed 2.88% or 0.190 points to 6.410.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 647 to 412 and 361 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 2.48% to 12.259 a new 3-month low.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.13% or 1.65 to $1290.65 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 1.25% or 0.65 to hit $52.72 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 1.11% or 0.68 to trade at $61.86 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.01% to 0.7190, while AUD/JPY rose 0.11% to 78.64.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.04% at 95.750.

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