Local shares rose today, thanks in large part to a rising oil price and a strong lead set by Wall Street overnight. Meanwhile, gold miners were mixed although the sector as a whole held up better than it did on Wednesday.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 0.6% to 5,483 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) up 0.5% to 5,564 points
  • AUD/USD at US 76 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$55.86 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,265.02 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$51.56 a barrel

St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) fell 4.5% and EVOLUTION FPO (ASX: EVN) dropped 4.3%. Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) also fell 0.5%.

The telcos caused headaches among investors again today. Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC) fell 1.2% (although it did trade much lower than that through the session) on supposed “accounting concerns” cited by brokers at CLSA.

TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) also traded lower during the session but ended the day 1.4% higher, while Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) dropped 1.8%.

Estia Health Ltd (ASX: EHE) fell 3% on an earnings downgrade. Japara Healthcare Ltd (ASX: JHC) recovered 2.4% after yesterday’s dip.

There were a number of shares that produced strong returns today. Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) was one such company, rising 12.1%. Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) also rose 0.4% while Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX: SYR) gained 9.3%.

Energy shares were strong, as well. Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) gained 3.6% while BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) jumped 1.2%.

Here are Thursday’s top stories:

  1. These are the 5 best-performing shares of the last month
  2. Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd shares jump on acquisition news, should you invest?
  3. This is why Estia Health Ltd shares are getting crushed again
  4. Why these 4 shares are getting hammered today
  5. Why Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd shares are rocketing higher
  6. Are these two telcos oversold?

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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.