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ASX 200 surges higher

The prospect of the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) hitting 6000 points within 12 months is looking more and more realistic as the benchmark index continued its climb today, surging past the 5400 point mark to hit a new five-year high of 5457.3 points in early afternoon trading.

The market was full of confidence ahead of full-year reports set to be released by ANZ (ASX: ANZ), Westpac (ASX: WBC) and NAB (ASX: NAB) over the coming fortnight. Investors are keenly anticipating an increase in dividend payouts, and have pushed the companies’ shares up 1.9%, 1.3% and 1.8% today, respectively. Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) also jumped 1.1%, ahead of its quarterly report which will be released early next month.

Australia’s largest miners also provided a significant boost for the market as commodity prices continue to defy expectations of a pullback. Iron ore realised a slight gain to US$133.30 per tonne despite analysts predicting that it would fall heading into the fourth quarter. BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue (ASX: FMG), which have all ramped up their production levels, were trading up 1.3%, 1.2% and 3.6%.

Foolish takeaway

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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