Market Wrap: Santa rally continues as ASX fights back

For the second session in a row, local shares have ended slightly higher to continue the Santa rally.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) flat at 5109 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) flat at 5157 points
  • AUD/USD at US 71.62 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$40.10 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,068.65 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$36.14 a barrel

The ASX 200 finished the session a mere 2 points higher today, making it the fourth consecutive close in the black. It was also the second session in a row that it has fought back from a considerable decline to record a modest gain.

Australia’s blue chip shares produced mixed results today. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) rose 1.5%, while Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) gained 1%, while three of the major banks also closed higher.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) rose 1.2%, the most of any of the banks, while Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) was the only exception, falling 0.1% for the day.

Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG) and Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) both closed higher as well, up 8.8% and 7.8%, respectively. Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) and Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: SIP) weren’t so lucky, their shares falling 4.5% and 5.4%.

Here are today’s top stories:

  1. 4 unloved shares to buy in 2016
  2. Here’s why the A2 MILK FPO NZ share price skyrocketed again today
  3. Is Crown Resorts Ltd a takeover target?
  4. Westfield Corp Ltd plots route to significant long-term earnings growth
  5. Costco’s gains spell trouble for Woolworths Limited investors
  6. Is this the end of BHP Billiton Limited’s dividend policy?
  7. Buy like Buffett in 2016 with these 3 blue-chip ASX shares

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Costco Wholesale. Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

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.

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