Local shares ended a rather flat streak today, rising strongly thanks to surging commodity prices and optimism from the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 0.8% to 4922 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) up 0.8% to 4989 points
  • AUD/USD at US 71.35 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$49.62 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,244.40 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$36.42 a barrel

The Reserve Bank met for the second time in 2016 today, leaving interest rates on hold in a widely anticipated result. Strong gains from oil and iron ore overnight also provided a spark for investor confidence after China increased its economic stimulus measures.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) provided plenty of drive, rising 3% and 6.4%.

The banks were strong too, particularly Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) which lifted 3% and 2.5%, respectively.

The same cannot be said for Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW), down 1.3%, or Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS), down 4.8%. Notably however, the latter was mainly due to the shares going ex-dividend.

Beadell Resources Ltd (ASX: BDR) and Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) were among the market’s best, rising 17.8% and 14.6%. Shares of Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH), on the other hand, crashed another 45.7%. They’re down 62% over the last two sessions at just 31.5 cents.

Here are Tuesday’s top stories:

  1. Top stock picks for March
  2. No change from the RBA and 2 dividend shares worth your attention now
  3. Is Slater & Gordon Limited going broke after yesterday’s horror result?
  4. Why the Slater & Gordon Limited share price was slammed another 33% today
  5. Here’s why the Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price fell 4.6% today
  6. 2 overlooked growth shares I would buy today
  7. Can Reffind Ltd be the next Slack?

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.