Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.32%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.32%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Friday, as gains in the Gold , IT and Consumer Staples sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.32% to hit a new 1-month high.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Nufarm Ltd (AX: NUF ), which rose 6.28% or 0.460 points to trade at 7.780 at the close. Evolution Mining Ltd (AX: EVN ) added 4.98% or 0.080 points to end at 1.685 and Blackmores Ltd (AX: BKL ) was up 4.65% or 7.430 points to 167.170 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Worleyparsons Ltd (AX: WOR ), which lost 5.81% or 0.320 points to trade at 5.190 in late trade. Mineral Resources Ltd (AX: MIN ) declined 5.42% or 0.370 points to end at 6.460 and Slater & Gordon Ltd (AX: SGH ) shed 4.17% or 0.015 points to 0.345.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 508 to 430 and 299 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 5.20% to 17.205 a new 1-month low.

In commodities trading, Gold for April delivery was down 0.20% or 2.60 to $1270.20 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 2.33% or 0.88 to hit $38.72 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract rose 1.82% or 0.73 to trade at $40.78 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.54% to 0.7494, while AUD/JPY rose 0.81% to 85.06.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.08% at 96.27.

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