The Australian share market has ended the day stronger as energy and mining stocks continue to perform despite a quiet post Christmas session.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index was up 18.2 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 1630 AEDT on Thursday, clawing back its early losses and then some.

IG analyst Chris Weston said energy and mining stocks have been the stand-out sectors over recent days and months, and expects the strength to continue in the new year.

“We have seen those two sectors really out performing not just on a five day basis, but a one month basis and a three month basis as well,” Mr Weston said.

“The fact that people are happy to sort of hold on to those sort of sectors right until the dying days of the trading calendar year suggests they have confidence in holding them into quarter one and two next year also.”

Energy stocks rose despite oil prices slipping after hitting a near two-and-a-half-year high in the previous session as a rally fuelled by supply outages in Libya and the North Sea ran out of momentum.

Santos oil was 0.4 per cent higher to $5.41, Oil Search rose 0.5 per cent to $7.80 and Woodside Petroleum grew 0.8 per cent to $33.17.

Mining stocks also helped buoy the market, with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto up 0.6 per cent to $29.51 and 0.4 per cent to 74.89 respectively, while gold miners Newcrest and Evolution were also stronger.

Telecommunication stocks were among the best performers helped by gains in Telstra, TPG Telecom and Vocus which were trading between 0.7 per cent and 2.6 per cent higher.

Westpac led the gains among the big four banks, trading 0.5 per cent higher, to $31.55.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has continued to climb after reaching its highest level in more than two months, on the back of a combination of a weaker US dollar and stronger copper prices.

The local currency was trading at 77.97 US cents at 1700 AEDT on Thursday, from 77.45 on Wednesday.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 18.2 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 6,088.1 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 19.7 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 6,189.4 points.

* The SPI200 futures contract was up 24 point or 0.4 per cent at 6,046 points.

* National turnover was 2.8 billion securities traded worth $2.8 billion.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 77.97 US cents, from 77.45 on Wednesday

* 87.93 Japanese yen, from 87.67 yen

* 65.34 euro cents, from 65.20 euro cents

* 58.02 British pence, from 57.88 pence

* 109.96 NZ cents, from 109.84 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEDT was $US1,292.44 per fine ounce, from $US1,282.31 per fine ounce on Wednesday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0736pct, from 2.0788pct

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6419pct, from 2.6874pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.473 (implying a yield of 2.527pct), unchanged

* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.955 (2.045pct), unchanged.

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)