Aust stocks close higher

By Elizabeth Redman

Macquarie Equities division director Lucinda Chan said with around 20 per cent of companies having reported, results have so far been "quite solid". "To date, the numbers have been pretty good," she said. "There's not too many major surprises. "Investors are focusing more on future guidance — if they expect growth to continue and costs to be controlled, [the stock] will have a recovery.

The Australian sharemarket has closed in the green today as investors cheered a string of upbeat earnings reports, with several companies either improving profit or flagging future growth. At the 4. 15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 20. 6 points, or 0. 37 per cent, to 5,587. 1, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 21 points, or 0. 38 per cent, to 5,580. 6.

But National Australia Bank shares closed lower despite the bank lifting its third quarter cash profit by 7 per cent as it flagged further substantial provisions at its embattled UK operations. "The quarterly result was very much in line with what we expected.

Read more here: Business Spectator

    

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