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The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia was up 0.31 percent at close of trade.

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Gains in the Gold, Utilities, and Industrials sectors propelled Australian stocks higher after the market closed on Thursday. The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.31 percent at the Sydney close.

Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG), which rose 5.17 percent or 1.03 points to trade at 20.96 at the close of the session on the S&P/ASX 200, was the best performer of the session.

St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) was up 4.33 percent or 0.060 points to 1.445 in late trade, while Nickel Mines Ltd (ASX: NIC) gained 4.73 percent or 0.065 points to end at 1.440. Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA) was the worst performer in the session, falling 10.32 percent or 0.58 points to close at 5.04.

Wisetech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) fell 2.57 percent or 1.55 points to close at 58.67, while Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) fell 2.39 percent or 2.09 points to close at 85.40. On the Sydney Stock Exchange, rising stocks outnumbered declining ones by 885 to 466, with 413 remaining unchanged.

Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA) shares dropped to 52-week lows, falling 10.32 percent or 0.58 to 5.04. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, fell 3.36 percent to 11.144, a new three-month low. Gold futures for February delivery rose 4.95 percent to $1807.15 a troy ounce, up 0.27 percent.

In other commodities trading, February crude oil rose 0.03 percent or 0.02 to $72.78 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract remained unchanged at $75.28 a barrel, up 0.00 percent or 0.00.

The Australian dollar rose 0.18 percent to 0.7226, while the Australian dollar rose 0.31 percent to 82.57. The US Dollar Index Futures were trading at 96.070, up 0.01 percent.

Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah