Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.54%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.54%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Thursday, as gains in the Telecoms Services , Consumer Staples and Real Estate Investment sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.54% to hit a new 52-week high.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Bega Cheese Ltd (AX: BGA ), which rose 5.96% or 0.240 points to trade at 4.270 at the close. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd (AX: FPH ) added 4.04% or 0.320 points to end at 8.240 and TPG Telecom Ltd (AX: TPM ) was up 3.69% or 0.240 points to 6.740 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Estia Health Ltd (AX: EHE ), which lost 5.32% or 0.140 points to trade at 2.490 in late trade. Asaleo Care (AX: AHY ) declined 4.73% or 0.070 points to end at 1.410 and Whitehaven Coal Ltd (AX: WHC ) shed 2.93% or 0.080 points to 2.650.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 566 to 426 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 3.01% to 10.217 a new 52-week low.

In commodities trading, Gold for February delivery was down 0.18% or 2.05 to $1131.15 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.13% or 0.07 to hit $52.56 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.24% or 0.13 to trade at $54.59 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.06% to 0.7229, while AUD/JPY rose 0.11% to 85.06.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.04% at 103.00.

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