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Market Wrap: Australian dollar approaches US77c

Local shares continued to rise today with the main bourse even rising to its highest point since early January. It hit a high of 5,216 points before retreating again.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 0.3% to 5183 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) up 0.2% to 5239 points
  • AUD/USD at US 76.45 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$56.09 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,263.26 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$41.47 a barrel

Australian shares continued to benefit following the US Federal Reserve’s renewed interest rate expectations on Wednesday. However, the Australian dollar also pushed towards US77 cents, getting further and further into uncomfortable territory.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) was one of the biggest winners today, thanks to rising iron ore and oil prices. Its shares gained 4.7%, while Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) and Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) lifted 3.8% and 2.1%.

The major banks pushed ahead as well. Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) ended the day marginally lower, but Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) gained 1%.

Meanwhile, Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) shares lost 0.8% following another mobile outage on Thursday evening.

Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG) was the worst performer for the day, losing 7%. Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) was one of the best, rising 8.8%.

Here are Friday’s top stories:

  1. Telstra Corporation Ltd’s credibility shot on mobile outages
  2. Is an RBA interest rate cut coming?
  3. Primary Health Care Limited shares soar on takeover talk
  4. Is the BHP Billiton share price headed back to $20?
  5. Should Bellamy’s Australia Ltd and Blackmores Limited worry about the short sellers?
  6. Why the Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd share price is soaring today
  7. Premier Investment Limited shares soar as profit rockets

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. 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 owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. 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.

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