The Australian sharemarket shrugged off a weak lead to restart its March rally, lifted higher by purchasing in the big banks and a powerful day for healthcare stocks.
Early in trade the market fell by as much as 26 points before staging a 1.5% turnaround to close at the day’s highs.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index ended 1% or 49 points higher to 5157.2. The broader All Ordinaries rose 0.9% or 46 points to 5215.7.
The regional market’s rally defied the sentiment around the Asian region, where bourses were often lower, involving the Shanghai Composite Index which was down 2.5% in afternoon trade while Japan’s Nikkei was down 1%.
Asian indices took their lead from European and US markets which fell after Chinese data indicated exports from the world’s 2nd greatest economy slumped, helping whack miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, which fell 9.4% and 8.5% respectively in the city of London. Disappointing Japanese gross domestic product numbers also weighed.
The big miners’ losses were less dramatic on the day of Wednesday although, with BHP down 1.9% to $17.86 and Rio Tinto down 2.1% to $44.30. Pure play miner Fortescue Metals Group fell 2.9% to $2.71.
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