Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.69%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.69%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Thursday, as gains in the Utilities , IT and Healthcare sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.69%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were IPH Ltd (AX: IPH ), which rose 5.85% or 0.190 points to trade at 3.440 at the close. Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Ltd (AX: GMA ) added 5.38% or 0.120 points to end at 2.350 and Wisetech Global Ltd (AX: WTC ) was up 5.09% or 0.520 points to 10.740 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Flight Centre Ltd (AX: FLT ), which lost 2.14% or 1.180 points to trade at 53.950 in late trade. BHP Billiton Ltd (AX: BHP ) declined 2.04% or 0.600 points to end at 28.820 and Regis Resources Ltd (AX: RRL ) shed 1.97% or 0.090 points to 4.490.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 705 to 505 and 378 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 7.60% to 14.474.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.04% or 0.50 to $1328.10 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.20% or 0.12 to hit $61.27 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract rose 0.17% or 0.11 to trade at $64.45 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.01% to 0.7826, while AUD/JPY fell 0.12% to 82.90.

The US Dollar Index Futures was unchanged 0.00% at 89.56.

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