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S&P/ASX 200 records sixth straight session of gains

The focus is now on the federal budget which will be announced at 7.30 pm AEDT.

asx rising chart
Fortescue Metals jumped 3.0% to $7.65

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) closed up 25 points or 0.4% to 6,242, buoyed by improvements in the banking, energy, industrials and healthcare stocks.

The share market has recorded a sixth straight session of gains with the IT sector rallying 2%, mirroring gains by US counterparts overnight.

Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) increased 3% to $7.65 after the miner said it would go ahead with its $US2.6 billion Iron Bridge Magnetite Project in Western Australia.

Online jobs advertiser Seek Ltd (ASX:SEK) closed up 2.4% to $17.66.after announcing the appointment of former CBA CEO Ian Narev as chief operating officer and Asia Pacific & Americas chief executive.

Cash rate still at record low

2.29 billon shares were traded, worth $7.01 billion. 633 stocks closed higher, 499 finished weaker, while 373 ended unchanged.

The Reserve Bank of Australia left the cash rate on hold today at a record low of 1.5% - where it has remained for the last 32 months.

The focus is now on the federal budget which will be announced at 7.30 pm AEDT.

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