Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.26%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.26%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Utilities , Real Estate Investment and Metals & Mining sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.26%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (AX: FMG ), which rose 5.65% or 0.350 points to trade at 6.540 at the close. Viva Energy Reit Ltd (AX: VVR ) added 5.02% or 0.110 points to end at 2.300 and Bega Cheese Ltd (AX: BGA ) was up 4.98% or 0.300 points to 6.330 in late trade.

Biggest losers included St Barbara Ltd (AX: SBM ), which lost 5.00% or 0.130 points to trade at 2.470 in late trade. Syrah Res F (AX: SYR ) declined 3.91% or 0.095 points to end at 2.335 and Orocobre Ltd (AX: ORE ) shed 3.24% or 0.090 points to 2.690.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones by 543 to 524 and 340 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 up 3.36% to 9.620.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.05% or 0.55 to $1202.05 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.70% or 0.81 to hit $48.53 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract rose 1.45% or 0.74 to trade at $51.66 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.16% to 0.7572, while AUD/JPY rose 0.21% to 86.93.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.08% at 101.54.

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