The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has finished up 1.3%, closing at 5,104.1, its biggest one-day gain in seven months, and reaching a fresh four and a half year high. The ASX followed US markets higher, on the back of reassuring comments by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke, and a strong Italian bond auction.
The Australian dollar was fairly flat against the US dollar, fetching US 102.8 cents.
These three stocks were the best performers in the ASX 200, rising by more than 8%.
Buru Energy (ASX: BRU) climbed by 10.7% to $2.70, after the oil and gas company provided an update on drilling operations at its Yulleroo 4 well. Results from drilling so far suggest the Yulleroo Gasfield is part of a larger gas system, and points to a substantial upgrade in resources – good news for shareholders.
Retailer Harvey Norman Holdings (ASX: HVN) added 9.2% to close at $2.49, despite reporting a 37% fall in net profit to $81.9 million. Excluding property revaluations, net profit was down just 6%. Encouraging investors was the news that sales in January are up 3.8%, while like for like sales were up 5.4%. Extreme discounting seen last year has stabilised, and with interest rates at historical lows, that should see consumers move back into the buying cycle.
Wine maker Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE) rose 8.2% to close at $5.30 after reporting a 31% increase in half year net profit and reconfirmed its full-year guidance. The company is positioning itself for the future, with more than $100 million invested in vineyards and winery assets.
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