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A rising tide lifts most boats

ASX markets jumped today, with all sectors posting positive gains.

While resources and energy stocks benefited the most, there were a load of stocks making headlines, some for the wrong reasons.

Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) is back in the news (excuse the pun!), announcing that it was giving Gina Rinehart’s friend and fast food king Jack Cowin a board seat. However, Fairfax chairman, Roger Corbett has stressed that there is no connection between Cowin’s appointment and Gina Rinehart’s push for board seats in the media publisher. Cowin himself is also apparently keen to divorce himself from the notion that he will act as Rinehart’s proxy.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has said today that the Australian government had allowed it to raise its stake in Virgin Australia Holdings (ASX: VAH) to 10%, according to a Reuters report. Virgin shares rose 2.6% on the back of the news. Just last month, Etihad raised its stake in Virgin to 5%.

Building products companies, James Hardie (ASX: JHX) and Boral (ASX: BLD) both recorded decent rises, on the back of news that US construction of new homes was at its highest level in four years. James Hardie added 2% to close at $8.3, while Boral rose 2.6% to $3.15.

Meanwhile, Seven West Media Limited (ASX: SWM) shares have crashed today, down 10.5% to $1.45, after the company came out of a trading halt following its $440m capital raising.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool ‘s purpose is to help the world invest, better.  Take Stock  is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  Click here now  to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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