Australian shares have closed up after early losses with the All Ords rising 34.4 points, or 0.6%, to 5,342 as gains in financial and healthcare stocks more than offset the fall in miners.
Mining stocks dipped after three-month copper dropped 0.4% to US$7,314 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange. Nickel shed 1% to US$14,550 per tonne.
Gold for February delivery rose 1.1% to $1.254.10 an ounce. Spot gold is currently at $1,253 in Asian trading.
The U.S. market was closed yesterday for the Martin Luther King jr. holiday.
All four of the major banks made gains with Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) putting on $0.78, or 1.04%, to $76.10 while Westpac (ASX: WBC) was up $0.26, or 0.83, to close at $31.79.
ANZ Bank (ASX: ANZ) rose $0.28, or 0.91%, to $31.15 while National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) increased $0.35, or 1.04%, to $33.99.
Second tier banks were also up with Suncorp (ASX: SUN) climbing $0.16, or 1.24%, to $13.10, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX: BEN) gaining $0.11, or 0.95%m to $11.72 and Bank of Queensland (ASX: BOQ) rising $0.21, or 1.78%, to $12.03.
Acrux Limited (ASX: ACR) is up $0.05, or 1.95%, to close at $2.61, Ansell (ASX: ANS) gained $0.27, or 1.35%, to $20.24 while Cochlear (ASX: COH) gained $1.39, or 2.39%, to $59.60.
Mesoblast (ASX: MSB) jumped up $0.30, or 5.22%, to $6.05 while Sigma Pharmaceuticals (ASX: SIP) rose $0.005, or 0.81%, to $0.625.
The fall in copper and nickel prices sent Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) down $0.69, or 1.04%, to $65.80 while BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) dipped $0.05, or 0.13%, to $37.95.
Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) dived $0.26, or 4.59%, to $5.41 while Newcrest (ASX: NCM) slipped $0.06, or 0.62%, to $9.64.
Juniors and Mid-caps
Havilah Resources (ASX: HAV) rose 9.09% to $0.24 after partner MMG intersected significant new copper mineralisation at the Croziers Dam prospect along with IOCG (Olympic Dam) style alteration signatures discovered at several other locations.
MMG can earn 60% in any potential development by spending $12 million.
With its cash balance rising to $9 million by the end of 2013 and the company looking to expand its Whelans Surveying division through either organic growth or an acquisition, OTOC Limited (ASX: OTC) is up 15% to $0.115.
Kibaran Resources (ASX: KNL) is up 7.14% to $0.15.
Asian markets were largely positive with the Nikkei up 1.14% to 15,820.33 points while the Hang Seng Index is up 0.76% to 23,102.55 points.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index is up 0.9% to 2,009.2 points.
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