Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.70%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.70%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Thursday, as gains in the Consumer Discretionary , Financials and Utilities sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.70% to hit a new 3-month high.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Webjet Ltd (AX: WEB ), which rose 30.61% or 3.480 points to trade at 14.850 at the close. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd (AX: FPH ) added 7.27% or 0.930 points to end at 13.730 and Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (AX: NEC ) was up 7.17% or 0.10 points to 1.57 in late trade.

Biggest losers included St Barbara Ltd (AX: SBM ), which lost 8.02% or 0.420 points to trade at 4.820 in late trade. Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (AX: SAR ) declined 6.89% or 0.210 points to end at 2.840 and Wisetech Global Ltd (AX: WTC ) shed 5.37% or 1.130 points to 19.900.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 610 to 555 and 322 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 2.00% to 12.165.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.47% or 6.35 to $1341.55 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.31% or 0.18 to hit $57.34 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract rose 0.01% or 0.01 to trade at $67.09 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.78% to 0.7107, while AUD/JPY fell 0.88% to 78.69.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.15% at 96.435.

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