Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.45%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.45%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Friday, as gains in the Healthcare , Energy and Consumer Discretionary sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.45%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Pact Group Holdings Ltd (AX: PGH ), which rose 6.25% or 0.160 points to trade at 2.720 at the close. Syrah Resources Ltd (AX: SYR ) added 6.09% or 0.060 points to end at 1.045 and Estia Health Ltd (AX: EHE ) was up 4.40% or 0.120 points to 2.850 in late trade.

Biggest losers included St Barbara Ltd (AX: SBM ), which lost 29.25% or 1.360 points to trade at 3.290 in late trade. Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (AX: SAR ) declined 4.17% or 0.120 points to end at 2.760 and Regis Resources Ltd (AX: RRL ) shed 4.06% or 0.220 points to 5.200.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 675 to 469 and 360 ended unchanged on the Sydney Stock Exchange.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX , which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 2.43% to 11.301 a new 3-month low.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.11% or 1.45 to $1308.75 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.12% or 0.07 to hit $59.91 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract fell 0.04% or 0.03 to trade at $67.83 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.04% to 0.7108, while AUD/JPY fell 0.01% to 78.76.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.20% at 95.797.

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