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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.

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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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