Local shares ended the day up 0.8% with the mining giants doing the heavy lifting as investors reacted to a rebound in gold and iron ore prices on the back of delayed expectations as to when the US Federal Reserve will move to lift cash rates.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 0.8% at 5323 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) up 0.7% to 5395 points
  • AUD/USD down 0.5% at US 73.3 cents
  • Iron ore up 3.9% to US$50.15 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,240 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$49.04 a barrel

Today’s leading gainers from among the S&P/ASX 200 included gold miners Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) which climbed 12.2% and 14.1% respectively. Elsewhere the iron ore majors enjoyed buyer support with iron ore futures rebounding.

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) were up 4.4%, 3.9% and 3.9% respectively.

Among the fallers was engineering group Cardno Limited (ASX: CDD), which lost 38% of its value after it returned to the ASX boards after seeking to raise $92.5 million in new capital at 40 cents a share. The insurers also fell heavily on the back of major storms hitting the east coast over the weekend. The worst performer being Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia (ASX: GMA) down 3.9% for the day.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories.

  1. Insurers sink after storms hit east coast
  2. Gold miners rocket as gold price soars
  3. Webjet buys Online Republic
  4. Cardno shares plunge 40 per cent
  5. Metcash shares double in value

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson 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.