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The Australian Securities Exchange rose today to its highest level in more than two months following the release of positive economic data from the United States.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) rose today to its highest level in more than two months following the release of positive economic data from the United States. The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported that a strong manufacturing index and a fall in jobless claims helped the ASX rise 55.3 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,116.8 points.

The mining sector saw major gains on the ASX today. Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) rose $1.37, to $59.421, while BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) gained $0.58, rising to $35.75. Investors seem confident that both companies will deliver strong profits in the coming earning season, according to the SMH.

Gold producer Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), however, dropped more than 5 percent, falling to $3.37. The SMH states that of the top 100 stocks on the ASX, Regis was the worst performer. Another gold exploration company, Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM), fell $0.26, or 2.12 percent, to $12.004.

The gold sector sank 3.9 percent today, with the price of the precious metal falling due to signs of the US economy improving; that could mean the Federal Reserve will ease its stimulus program, notes the SMH.

MARKETS

Markets
TSX20179.81+187.93
TSXV680.49+7.47
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NASD13047.19+267.27
ASX7032.50-38.50

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Commodities
Gold1801.89+0.36
Silver20.82+0.02
Copper3.68-0.03
Palladium2224.19+14.20
Platinum965.47+2.48
Oil91.88-2.46
Heating Oil3.51+0.03
Natural Gas8.78-0.09

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