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Evening Update - Thursday July 2, 2015

The Aussie market stormed higher today, locking in a third consecutive session of gains. Today's advance was a little surprising, given that U.S. markets will be closed tomorrow night for the Independence Day holiday and one would have thought that both Australian and American traders and investors wouldn't want to have taken on too much risk ahead of the Greek referendum. The Aussie bulls have spoken, loudly, and now we will wait to see what their American counterparts do tonight. All sectors were stronger on the day, such was the momentum of today's move. Consumer stocks - both discretionary and staples, I.T., utilities and energy plays all posted strong gains, the latter despite crude prices tumbling overnight. The laggards were telcos and the gold sub-sector. The big four all posted impressive gains, with Westpac (WBC) the best in show, adding 2%, whilst Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and National Australia (NAB) put on 1.7% each. The big miners also enjoyed gains, despite weaker iron ore prices overnight; Rio Tinto (RIO) eked out a tiny gain, whilst BHP Billiton (BHP) added 1.3% and Fortescue Metals (FMG) added 4.3%. Big movers today included Pacific Brands (PBG), which soared an amazing 51% on a profit upgrade, whilst Bluescope Steel (BSL) surged 25%. On the day the ASX 200 packed on 84 points (+1.5%) to settle at 5600.