Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.29%

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Australia shares higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.29%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were higher at the close on Thursday, as gains in the Gold , Energy and Telecoms Services sectors propelled shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.29% to hit a new 52-week high.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Vocus Fpo (AX: VOC ), which rose 6.42% or 0.260 points to trade at 4.310 at the close. St Barbara Ltd (AX: SBM ) added 5.00% or 0.105 points to end at 2.205 and Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (AX: SAR ) was up 4.43% or 0.045 points to 1.060 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Orocobre Ltd (AX: ORE ), which lost 2.97% or 0.130 points to trade at 4.240 in late trade. Macquarie Atlas Roads Group (AX: MQA ) declined 2.19% or 0.110 points to end at 4.910 and Qube Holdings Ltd (AX: QUB ) shed 2.05% or 0.050 points to 2.390.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 563 to 437 and 326 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 1.16% to 12.728.

In commodities trading, Gold for February delivery was up 0.92% or 10.70 to $1176.00 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in February fell 0.06% or 0.03 to hit $53.23 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract fell 0.14% or 0.08 to trade at $56.38 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.51% to 0.7319, while AUD/JPY fell 0.46% to 85.00.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.60% at 101.88.

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