Local shares lost some of their earlier gains as the day went on, but still ended in the black for the fifth consecutive session.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 0.6% to 5372 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) up 0.6% to 5434 points
  • AUD/USD at US 73.72 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$55.26 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,273.15 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$45.48 a barrel

Today, it was the miners doing the heavy lifting, while the banks took a breather. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) was the worst, falling 1.1%, while its major rivals stayed mostly flat.

But after a better night for commodities, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) were back on top. The pair rose 4% and 1.3%, while South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) gained 3.9%.

AWE Limited (ASX: AWE) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) were two of the best shares, rising 16.3% and 7.9%. Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) also roared 5.5% higher.

OzForex Group Ltd (ASX: OFX) didn’t fare so well. Its shares fell 2.6% for the day.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. Here’s how BHP Billiton Limited plans to reinvigorate growth
  2. Why BHP Billiton Limited is such a poor investment
  3. Broker tips 7 small to medium cap shares to outperform
  4. AWE Limited rejects takeover proposal and shares surge higher
  5. Why APN News and Media Limited and Fairfax Media Limited NZ are set to merge
  6. Could Woolworths Limited shares be the ‘Comeback King’ of 2016?

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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.