Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 1.20%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 1.20%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Thursday, as gains in the IT , Financials and Metals & Mining sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 added 1.20% to hit a new 3-month high.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Galaxy Resources Ltd (AX: GXY ), which rose 9.57% or 0.045 points to trade at 0.515 at the close. Costa Group Holdings Ltd (AX: CGC ) added 4.87% or 0.150 points to end at 3.230 and Qbe Insurance Group Ltd (AX: QBE ) was up 4.84% or 0.570 points to 12.350 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Estia Health Ltd (AX: EHE ), which lost 3.62% or 0.100 points to trade at 2.660 in late trade. M Pharma Fp (AX: MYX ) declined 2.38% or 0.035 points to end at 1.435 and Santos Ltd (AX: STO ) shed 2.06% or 0.090 points to 4.270.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 670 to 383 and 295 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 up 4.34% to 12.297.

In commodities trading, Gold for February delivery was up 0.18% or 2.15 to $1179.65 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 0.20% or 0.10 to hit $49.87 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.02% or 0.01 to trade at $53.01 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.28% to 0.7501, while AUD/JPY unchanged 0.00% to 85.11.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.22% at 100.06.

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